If you get injured on the job in California, your employer must pay your medical bills regardless of who caused the accident.
Whether you can also bring a lawsuit against your employer depends on the circumstances of the injury.
Employers are usually exempt from employee injury lawsuits
Employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses if you get injured at work. The insurance company should pay your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages for any injury that occurred while performing your job duties. In exchange for this guaranteed payment, you usually can not sue your employer for your injuries.
There are some exceptions to employer immunity
Sometimes, you can bring an injury lawsuit against your employer instead of filing for workers’ compensation. California labor laws detail specific events when you may sue your employer for damages.
- When your employer does not have the required workers’ compensation insurance
- On any occasion that your employer assaults you or intentionally causes your injuries
- If power press equipment was missing safety guards and the unprotected equipment caused your injuries
- Whenever your employer covers up a previous work injury, and you continue to aggravate the injury when performing job duties
- In the event that you get injured at your place of work while you are not on the clock
- If you purchase a product manufactured by your employer and that product causes an injury
A personal injury lawsuit allows you to seek money for pain and suffering in addition to lost wages and medical bills.
Knowing when you should file a workers’ compensation claim versus a personal injury lawsuit against your employer ensures you the opportunity to receive restitution for your injuries.