At Pacific Workers’, we get a lot of questions surrounding the topic of injuries not necessarily covered by the CA Workers’ Compensation System.
The CA Labor Code Section 3600 sets forth when a workers’ comp injury is covered or when a workers’ comp injury is not covered. The statute states that there's a couple reasons why a worker's comp case could be barred, the first one being that the injured worker's injury was actually caused by voluntary intoxication. If the person happened to be drunk or they was on drugs, if being under the influence caused the injury, then they wouldn't be able to collect benefits. Nonetheless, the defense attorney must prove that the intoxication itself caused the injury.
Another example can be an intentionally self-inflicted injury, of course this means that you can't purposely saw your arm off or purposely throw yourself down a ladder or electrocute yourself. These types of cases are not covered, the injury must be caused by an actual accident.
Believe it or not, fights can break out in the workplace more often than you think. Therefore, you can't mutually engage in combat or engage in violence and then turn around and collect workers’ comp benefits after. If you initiate a fight, you would be barred however if you had to defend yourself from someone fighting you and you didn’t initiate the fight, that is a different story.
Here at Pacific Workers’, we represented a client that was shot by another co-worker that was assaulting them. Even though the victim Faught back it wasn't a bar to their case because they had the right to defend themselves.
Another hot topic is voluntarily participating in a recreational activity or engaging in extracurricular activities for work. Whether it's driving to a picnic or an off-site company event, if you get hurt benefits really depend on the situation.
Every case is different so it’s best to always consult with an attorney for any questions or even just to have them look at your case. Please contact our team at 800-606-6999. Pacific Workers’, The Lawyers for Injured Workers has offices in Oakland, Tracy, Stockton, Sacramento, Concord, and San Jose, gladly helping the injured workers all over Northern California.