Under California law, employees may recover compensation for a work injury only through a workers’ compensation claim. This is known as the “exclusive remedy rule.”
There are, however, certain situations in which the exclusive remedy rule may not apply. Below, our San Jose personal injury attorneys discuss the factors that must be present for this to happen.
Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Rule
Most of the time, California employees will recover compensation for a work injury through a workers’ compensation claim. In California, workers’ compensation follows “no-fault” rules, which means that workers do not need to prove that their employer was at fault for the injury in order to recover compensation.
Workers’ compensation can provide the following damages:
- Medical treatment costs
- Temporary disability payments
- Permanent disability payments
- Life pension payments
- Vocational retraining costs
- Death benefits
Some individuals may be able to obtain more compensation through a civil claim rather than a workers’ compensation claim. This can be beneficial for those who have suffered a severe injury that requires extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
In order for the exclusive remedy rule not to apply, one of the following factors must be present:
Dual capacity: This allows the worker to pursue a civil claim against an employer based on a duty that arises independently of the employment relationship.
Fraudulent concealment: This occurs when an employer fraudulently conceals a worker's injury, which causes an aggravation of the injury.
Employer assault or ratification: This allows the worker to pursue a civil claim against an employer who either willfully assaulted the employee or allowed the assault of the employee by another.
Power press: This refers to when an employer modifies the design of a power press machine by removing a guard or failing to install one at the point of operation, which can lead to serious injuries.
Uninsured employer: This allows the worker to pursue a civil claim against an employer who failed to secure workers' compensation coverage at the time of the injury.
Injured in a Work Accident? We’re Here to Help
If you have been injured in a work accident and would like to pursue a civil claim against your employer, our team at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP is here to help. We have over 85 years of collective experience ready to work for you.
Contact us today at (800) 900-0863 to schedule a consultation with our team.