Few things are more stressful than sustaining a serious injury. After all, not only must you deal with pain and medical appointments, but you may also lose your ability to work. If your injury occurs at the workplace, though, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits may include medical treatment, wage reimbursement and even job displacement assistance. Can your employer try to hold you responsible for a workplace accident, though?
California’s no-fault system
In California, workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault system. Accordingly, you may be eligible for benefits even if your employer blames you for the accident. There is a key exception, though. If you intentionally cause your work-related injuries, you are not likely to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Your employment status
Even if you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer may have another reason for holding you responsible for a workplace accident. If you cause the accident, your employer may see you as a safety risk. While terminating your employment for this reason may be legal, your employer may not discriminate or retaliate against you.
Your next steps
Provided you do not intentionally cause your injury, you should move quickly to secure the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Reporting your injury to your employer and seeking medical treatment are both critical. You should also follow your doctor’s advice.
While recovering from your workplace injury may be your priority, knowing your employer probably cannot weasel out of workers’ compensation benefits may put your mind at ease. Still, if you caused or contributed to the accident, you may eventually have to find a new job.