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My co-worker injured me. Is this covered by workers’ comp?

When you think of workplace injuries, they are usually due to slips, falls, or equipment mishaps. If you get into an accident, California workers’ compensation can help support you through recovery. However, what happens if a colleague is responsible for your injury? It may not always be clear how far your benefits can go.

Reviewing the limitations of workers’ compensation

Workers’ compensation in California should cover injuries that happen while you are doing your job. This support usually includes:

  • Paying for your medical treatment
  • Covering a portion of your missed wages
  • Providing financial assistance if you have a long-term disability

However, just because an injury happened at work does not automatically mean that it is related to your duties. There are certain situations where you may not collect compensation:

  • If you sustained injuries after starting a fight
  • If your injuries are related to using alcohol or drugs
  • If you hurt yourself on purpose
  • If you were hurt while committing a crime
  • If you were injured during off-duty activities unless it was required by employment
  • If you sustained injuries from horseplay

Horseplay typically involves reckless and unnecessary activities such as operating machines carelessly, roughhousing and pranks. Injuries that arise from these activities may disqualify you from claiming benefits. However, if you were hurt because a co-worker made a mistake while working, it is likely that you will be covered.

Workers’ compensation cases can be complicated, leaving employees confused about whether they qualify or not. If you are struggling to secure your benefits, it may be time to talk to a lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and determine what you are entitled to.