Although their may be rare exceptions, generally speaking, an employee in California is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for any injury he or she suffers in connection with his or her employment.
Furthermore, since workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system, an injured employee does not have to prove an employer committed a violation of OSHA regulations or otherwise acted negligently in order to claim workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, an employee can even be at fault for an injury on the job but, in most cases, still qualify for benefits.
The key question in an disputed workers’ compensation claim is whether the injury the employee is reporting really happened in connection with his or her employment with a California business. In situations where the injury happened in connection with a single incident, it can be relatively easy to determine whether any injury happened on the job.
However, benefits are also payable for injuries or illnesses that develop over time, and it may be more difficult to say with certainty whether these injuries are work-related. On a related note, many disputes about benefits happen when it is not clear whether an injured person was actually an “employee” of a business or an independent contractor or someone who was working for an outside firm.
The important thing for workers in the San Diego area to reminder, though, is that on-the-job are injuries are as a rule compensable under California’s workers’ compensation system, and this is the rule even when an injured worker may be responsible for his or her own injuries, assuming, of course, that the injuries really were accidental and job-related.