When it comes to workplace injuries, California employees are protected by state and federal workers’ compensation rights. The no-fault workers’ compensation benefits system is intended to protect both employees and employers in different ways. It also helps to significantly decrease workplace injury litigation in California courts because, in most cases, injured employees may not sue their employers.
Workers’ compensation attorney Joseph Kritzer knows that the no-fault benefits system protects employees by making it easier to recover compensation for their injuries. He also knows that the no-fault system places some limits on employee recovery, however. See below for more information about California’s no-fault benefits system and how it can impact the benefits you are entitled to for your work injuries.
What Is A No-Fault Benefit System And Who Does It Cover?
In personal injury cases, injured parties typically have to establish that the defendant caused their injuries and damages before they can collect compensation. Workers’ compensation is different in that an injured employee does not need to prove that someone’s fault caused their injuries before they are entitled to work comp benefits. Employees only need to prove that their injuries were work-related, and their exclusive remedy is to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
Under California law, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance policies for their employees. Even out-of-state employers may be required to carry insurance for employees who regularly work in the state of California. With few exceptions, if you work in California, you should be covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
Medical Treatment And Financial Recovery
In personal injury cases, plaintiffs’ financial awards hinge on proving that defendants were at fault for their injuries and damages. Proving fault is typically the most challenging, time-consuming, and expensive component in a plaintiff’s personal injury case.
When injured employees do not have to prove fault, they are able to get the medical treatment that they need right away, and it is paid for by their employer’s insurance. A no-fault system can also make it easier to collect compensation for lost wages and other benefits more quickly than for plaintiffs who have to go through a lengthy personal injury trial before receiving compensation.
Fewer Financial Recovery Options
As mentioned above, with few exceptions, injured employees are prohibited from suing their employers. The no-fault system protects employers from having to pay significant sums to injured employees under a personal injury claim.
Workers’ compensation benefits are limited and are based on a no-fault system formula. Recovery for emotional damages, punitive damages, and some other personal injury remedies are not available to employees under workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ Compensation Disputes
Workers’ compensation rights should make the payment and recovery process easy, but that is not always the case. Sometimes injured employees do not receive the benefits that they deserve, especially when they do not have experienced legal representation. Unfortunately, employers and insurers frequently try to limit the benefits recovered under workers’ compensation claims, and employees suffer as a result.
The workers’ compensation system is complicated. Benefits often rely on medical interpretation and analysis that can be somewhat subjective. We represent clients in workers’ compensation claims and appeals to make sure that they get the compensation that they deserve. We know how the no-fault benefit system impacts workers’ compensation claims, and we fight for maximum benefits for our clients in every case.