Category Archives: Serious and Willful

WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DEFENSE LAWYER IN CALIFORNIA?

Workers’ compensation insurance provides medical coverage and wage loss benefits to employees who were hurt on the job. As emphasized by the California Department of Industrial Relations, “employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance.” For employers and insurers, navigating the workers’ compensation claims process can be complicated. It is not uncommon to […]

THREE STEPS EMPLOYERS CAN TAKE TO AVOID SERIOUS AND WILLFUL MISCONDUCT LIABILITY

A workers’ compensation claim is typically the exclusive remedy that an injured employee has against an employer. However, California Labor Code § 4553 provides an exception in cases of ‘serious and willful misconduct’ (S&W) by an employer. The general rule is that an employee’s total workers’ compensation award may be increased by as much as […]

DOES INADEQUATE INSPECTION CONSTITUTE SERIOUS AND WILLFUL MISCONDUCT IN CALIFORNIA?

Through a serious and willful misconduct claim, an injured worker may be entitled to recover penalty damages from their employer, valued up to 50% of the value of the underlying workers’ compensation claim. For employers, a finding of serious and willful misconduct carries harsh sanctions. There is considerable confusion regarding how exactly serious and willful […]

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: WHAT CONSTITUTES SERIOUS AND WILLFUL MISCONDUCT BY AN EMPLOYER?

In California, employers are legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. In most cases, a workers’ compensation claim is an injured employee’s sole legal claim against the company. However, there are some limited exceptions to the rule. Under California Labor Code section 4553, an employee or surviving dependent can seek additional compensation […]

CALIFORNIA LABOR CODE SECTION 4553: AN OVERVIEW OF SERIOUS AND WILLFUL MISCONDUCT CLAIMS

You may have heard that a workers’ compensation claim is the exclusive remedy that injured employees have against their employer in California. While that is mostly true, there is a narrow, but important exception: A serious and willful misconduct claim. In a serious and willful misconduct claim,an employer may face additional legal liability after a […]