Injuries occurring on the job continue to be a problem in many California working environments. Depending upon the circumstances of an individual situation, the process of claiming benefits after workplace accidents can be complicated. Those involved in accidents resulting in personal injury at work may want to consider various factors before moving forward with their claims.
Whether a person was working under the direction and control of a specific employer is important in determining eligibility in filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits after an injury occurs on the job. Employers are required by law to issue insurance that will provide injured workers with monetary benefits to cover medical bills and replace lost wages if a workplace accident. If one was acting as an independent contractor, a compensation claim would not be filed through the company that hired the contractor since one would not have been under the direct authority of that company at the time.
With regard to workers' compensation, an employee is typically entitled to benefits after being injured on the job regardless of whose fault the accident may have been. Even if the injured worker was responsible for the incident, he or she would typically still be able to claim benefits. However, the workers' compensation system is designed to protect employers from being sued in civil court by workers in the event that they should become injured or ill on the job.
Some workers are injured during the course of travel, perhaps when making a delivery or traveling to a business conference or meeting. Accident injuries occurring during such times would also normally be covered under workers' compensation. However, an injury that occurs during one's commute to and from the workplace in California may be considered outside the regular place of employment and, therefore, may not be covered. Since various aspects and details of workplace accidents have bearing on whether one's compensation plan will cover expenses related to injury, it might help to discuss the situation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney before filing a claim.
Source: alllaw.com, "Eligibility for Workers' Compensation After a Job-Related Accident", David Goguen, J.D., Accessed on Feb. 9, 2016