Accusations of Serious and Willful Misconduct Can Jeopardize Your Rights to Receive California Workers’ Compensation
The California workers’ compensation system is funded by employers. Employers are required by law to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, and those funds go to pay claims. An employer’s insurance premiums are dictated in part by the number and type of claims that are presented against the employer over time. Employers, therefore, have a strong incentive to fight employees’ claims in order to keep their costs down. One way they do this is by alleging that the accident was caused by serious and willful misconduct on the part of the employee. At the Law Offices of Sef Krell in Encino, our southern California workers’ compensation attorneys stand up for the injured worker and fight off unfair and unfounded claims that the employee’s misconduct caused the injury.
A few common examples of conduct typically characterized as serious and willful misconduct include:
- engaging in horseplay
- being intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
“Serious and willful misconduct” is a legal term, and whether particular conduct fits that definition or not may have to be decided in court or before a workers’ compensation tribunal. If your employer is challenging your claim on these grounds, you should definitely seek the advice and assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you.
When the Employer’s Conduct is Willful
On the other side of the coin, if the accident was caused by the employer’s own willful or intentional act, this is one of the few instances when an injured worker is allowed to sue the employer for money damages, rather than being limited only to a workers’ compensation claim. As skilled personal injury attorneys and litigators, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Sef Krell have the ability to identify and pursue these claims whenever they arise. An example of a willful act by the employer would be instructing the employee to perform a dangerous task without having the necessary safety precautions in place, or disregarding California workplace safety rules regarding required safety equipment and procedures.
Compassionate and Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving All of Los Angeles
If you have been injured on the job and your employer is trying to avoid paying your claim, contact the Law Offices of Sef Krell in Encino to speak with one of our dedicated and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. We serve workers throughout Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley who have suffered a workplace injury or illness.
Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to five years in prison, or a fine of up to $50,000, or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.