What is a no-fault workers' compensation system?

Most employers in California are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance. If your employer carries this insurance, it is operated under a no-fault system. According to the American Institute of CPAs, no-fault workers' compensation means that it does not matter who is responsible for the accident. You get your benefits without having to bring a lawsuit against your employer. Your employer does not have to admit guilt in the incident either. 

The system is designed to help prevent excessive lawsuits and litigation surrounding on-the-job accidents. It also speeds up the process because you are automatically entitled to coverage and your employer already has the insurance. You do not have to wait for the case to progress through the court system before your benefits kick in. 

You should be aware that while most issues will be covered under the no-fault system, there are some that are not. For example, if it is discovered you were responsible for the accident due to not following company policy, your claim for benefits may be denied.

Regardless of the situation, you have the right after an accident to file for benefits if you are injured. In addition, you cannot be required to pay for your workers' compensation coverage. That is completely the responsibility of your employer. Your employer cannot try to get you to not file for benefits through any means, such as threating to fire you if you make a claim. However, also remember that you waive your right to sue your employer once you make a workers' compensation claim. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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