What Injured Workers Should Know About ‘Serious and Willful’ Misconduct Claims in California

In California, people hurt on the job have a right to pursue benefits by bringing a workers’ comp claim. Workers’ comp is an exclusive legal remedy, meaning you are prevented from filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. However, under California Labor Code § 4553, injured employees may be additional to compensation if their accident occurred due to “serious and willful” misconduct by an employer. Here, our Fresno workers’ compensation attorneyexplains how an injured employee can file a serious and willful misconduct claim in California.

Know the Law: LC Section 4553 Allows for Increased Benefits

Serious and willful misconduct claims arise under section 4553 of the California Labor Code. This section of California state law allows injured workers to recover 50% more compensation than they would otherwise be entitled to if their workplace accident happened because of “serious and willful” misconduct on the part of an employer

As an example, imagine that the total value of your California workerscompensation claim is $10,000. An investigation into the accident reveals that you were hurt because your employer intentionally and flagrantly violated a workplace safety order. You could seek penalty compensation by filing a serious and willful misconduct claim. A maximum additional award of $5,000 (50% of the value of your claim) may be available. 

How to Prove Serious and Willful Misconduct by an Employer

Following a workplace accident, you need immediate medical attention. Nothing should come before your health and safety. If you know or suspect that your injuries occurred because there were unsafe conditions on your job, the accident should be investigated. Here are three key things to understand about proving serious and willful misconduct by an employer

Get in Touch With Our Workers’ Comp Lawyer for Immediate Help 

Joseph C. Yrulegui is an experienced workers’ comp lawyer with a passion for client service. If you want to know more about submitting a serious and willful misconduct claim, we can help. Our work injury team is prepared to help you recover the maximum available financial benefitsContact us now to speak to a reliable workers’ comp attorney. Our firm represents injured workers throughout Fresno County, including in Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Coalinga, and Reedley.