One of the commonly asked questions by injured workers is that we are able to get workers’ compensation if the accident was our fault. The answer to this question isn’t straightforward. It includes certain factors that need to be considered. Please read on below to know more about it. 

What the Rule Says in California?

Automobile accidents are quite common in California. A lot of workers use vehicles to commute to and from work. They also use vehicles to visit different locations if their job needs them to travel a lot. Also, workers use vehicles if they need to travel to a restaurant nearby during lunch hours or even for breakfast. 

If an accident occurs during these times, it can be considered industrial and might entitle an injured worker to get workers’ compensation benefits and protections.

If an Accident Occurred and I was at Fault, Can I Still Pursue a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Yes, as per California law, the workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Hence, if you are at fault, you can still claim workers’ compensation benefits like medical treatment costs, permanent disability benefits, temporary disability benefits, death benefits, or job displacement benefits. 

If I was Going to Work or Coming Back from Work, Can I Still File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Well, it depends on the situation. Though there is a Going and Coming Rule, it states that recovery under the workers’ compensation act is barred for an injury that you suffered if you were doing a local commute to a fixed place of business at fixed hours. There is some room for exceptional circumstances, like an employee was injured while making a left-hand turn into the parking lot of the employer. That employee got the claimed benefits. 

If I was in the Parking Lot of the Employer or During a Break (Like Lunch Break) at the time of the Accident, Can I File a Claim?

It depends on the circumstances and the facts. You might need to talk to an expert like the team of Laura M. Wilson & Associates Inc. to get the right answer. 

What Happens If I Get Involved in An Accident Involving a Vehicle of Another Company?

In such a scenario, the claim will be limited to workers’ compensation as no third party is involved. If you were not considered working during that time, you might need to file a Personal Injury Claim against the employer. 

What Other Claims Can I Make Besides Workers’ Compensation?

In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, you can seek benefits from the party that was at fault during the accident. If the other party were responsible during a vehicular accident, you could go for a personal injury claim, the uninsured motorist claim, or an underinsured motorist claim. In case there was a criminal act involved, you might also connect with the Victim Compensation Board to get the benefits. 

Can I Pursue a Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Personal Injury Claim at the Same Time?

Yes, you can pursue them both but remember that there might be credits for a recovery in one case against the other. 

What is Horseplay and How it Connects to a Workplace Injury?

Though workers’ compensation usually covers injuries at the workplace, there are a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is called Horseplay or Skylarking. It refers to a situation in which an employee is messing around, and an employer refuses to give the benefits. The court reserves the right to decide whether you were engaging in horseplay and your injury didn’t arise out of your employment as you were not doing the job assigned to you at the time of injury. 

What Other Reasons Can be Used by An Employer to Deny My Workers’ Compensation Claim?

An employer can reject your workers’ compensation claim if you were involved in the following at the time of the accident or incident:

  • You were engaging in horseplay and not doing the job assigned to you.
  • You started a fight with a co-worker or your manager. If you engaged in a physical altercation after verbal abuse, you would be considered to be at fault, and your claim might be denied. 
  • In case you intentionally hurt yourself at work or staged the accident to receive benefits and the employer proves the same, you might not get the benefits, and you might be considered guilty of illegal workers’ compensation fraud.
  • If you were terminated for violating safety requirements or taking unwanted risks at work, you might lose your benefits. However, an employer cannot fire you just because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
  • You were intoxicated, and you used drugs or alcohol and drugs. If your employer proves that you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, you won’t be able to claim the benefits. 

Need Help?

In case none of those mentioned above has answered your questions and you still want to know whether you are eligible for getting a workers’ compensation, then you can contact the skilled team of Laura M. Wilson & Associates Inc. We are skilled, competent, empathetic, and professional workers who want to help employees injured on the job to get the benefits they deserve and ensure that they return to work, if they are able and willing to do the same. 

Laura M. Wilson & Associates Inc. provides a wide array of services that are useful for injured workers or those involved in workplace incidents. A few of our key services are SJDB, RTWSP, Expert Witness Services, Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Services, and Transferrable Skills Analysis. You just have to tell us your situation, your goals, and our team will work with you to ensure that you get what you need. One of our experts will work with you and for you to ensure you get what you want, be it a benefit you deserve as per California workers’ compensation law or the skills needed to return to work. Call us toll-free at (800) 531-5608 or visit us here, and let’s get things started.