If you’ve been injured on the job, it might have been because of the negligent actions of another employee, a third party, or even your employer. When this happens, you may be able to collect benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of who is at fault for your injuries. But by collecting workers’ compensation benefits, you essentially give up the right to sue your employer even if their negligent acts caused your injury. There are some instances though where an employer fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance, or an employee is of the type that is not covered by workers’ compensation such as a crewmember on a vessel or an interstate railroad worker. In these cases, an employee must establish that their employer or someone else negligently caused their injuries.
Negligence is defined as a failure to act with a degree of reasonable care that an ordinary person would have exercised under similar circumstances. When an individual does not adhere to this duty of care, they can be considered negligent. In California, employers have a duty to provide their employees with a safe work environment. If an employer breaches this duty and you are injured as a result, your employer might be negligent. Some ways in which an employer might be negligent include:
- Negligent Training. An employer must train their employees properly to perform the duties and tasks that are necessary to their job. If an employee does not receive adequate training, and they harm or damage someone else, an employer can be liable for those injuries and other damages.
- Negligent Hiring. An employer should take care when hiring their employees. What this means is that they should have policies and procedures in place that govern hiring, including policies that might require background checks to ensure the potential employees will not be a threat to other workers or to the public. If an employee injures another and it is found that an employer did not appropriately screen them before they were hired, the employer can be responsible for the injuries.
- Negligent Retention. If an employee is not the right fit for a position, or they are known to commit harmful acts outside of work, and an employer does not fire or reassign the employee, then any damage they cause while on the job can be said to be the result of the employer’s negligent retention of that employee.
- Negligent Supervision. Employers should also take steps to supervise their employees properly. If an employee is not adequately supervised and they cause harm or other damage to another, the employer can be responsible for those damages.
It is also important to note that if you are injured at work, and you think that your employer intentionally harmed you, you can bring a civil lawsuit against them for committing an intentional tort against you. These torts or physical and non-physical harms can include assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, fraud, and false imprisonment.
Experienced and Dedicated California Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you or someone you know has suffered a workplace injury or illness, particularly if your injury or illness happened in the San Bernardino, Hemet, or Inland Empire areas, you might be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits under California law. However, if you think that workers’ compensation benefits are not available to you, or you think your employer intentionally caused you harm, you might be entitled to compensation under theories of negligence and tort law. Albert E. Hirst, III, has extensive experience dealing with injured workers and he has the skills and resources necessary to help you obtain the results you deserve. Call us today at (909) 885-7190 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.