Q: I suffered a workplace accident that left me with a serious spinal cord injury. I believe the cause of the accident was due to one of my co-workers goofing off. Do you think I have a case for filing a Serious & Willful Misconduct claim?
It’s hard to say for sure without all the details of your case. If you and the employee whose inappropriate behavior may have contributed to an accident that left you with a severe injury were essential equals in the workplace, you may be unsuccessful in filing a Serious & Willful Misconduct claim.
However, there is at least one major exception: If you can prove the co-worker had managerial responsibilities. To win a S&W case, you must prove that the worker who committed the misconduct was at least one of the following:
- The owner
- A named partner
- A “managing representative” within a corporation (a supervisor or higher, someone with hiring and firing responsibility)
Once we know more about the situation, we will be able to advise you more directly on your rights and options.
Any time you aren’t sure about the role an employer’s conduct may have played in a workplace injury, consider scheduling a no-cost consultation with a compassionate Chico workers' comp lawyer. Fill out our online contact form or call Ledgerwood Law Group toll-free at 888-761-7383 today. Our information-packed book, The California Workers’ Compensation Survival Manual, is available to you free.