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Workplace Injuries: What Is Serious and Willful Misconduct?

Injury Report FormWhen you are injured in a workplace accident due to another party's negligence, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation through a workplace accident claim. This is true whether the accident was due to your employer's negligence or negligence on the part of a third party.

“Serious and willful misconduct” is a term that refers specifically to an employer's misconduct beyond simply failing to provide a safe work environment. It refers to any action that the employer does that intentionally harms a worker. It can also refer to a significant failure on the part of the employer to react appropriately to a worker's injury, such as ignoring his or her cries for help. Serious and willful misconduct is a significant violation of an employer's duty of care to its workers, whether those workers are employees or independent contractors. If you have suffered an injury because of your employer's gross negligence or failure to react to your accident, work with an experienced workplace accident attorney to seek the money you deserve.

Examples of Serious and Willful Misconduct

The following is a list of examples of serious and willful misconduct:

  • Intentionally providing a worker with a broken tool, a piece of equipment known to malfunction, or an otherwise defective piece of equipment with which to work;
  • Requiring a worker to perform his or her job without the correct safety gear, such as requiring a welder to work without protective eyewear;
  • Intentionally ignoring a worker's cries of distress when pinned between objects, bleeding, or suffering from a serious injury at work;
  • Attempting to downplay a safety hazard or an accident in the workplace; and
  • Any other intentional disregard of a legally-required safety procedure, whether in an attempt to save money or an attempt to complete a job more quickly.

The actions discussed above can potentially lead to life-altering, even fatal, injuries. If you are ever asked to work with faulty equipment or otherwise work without following proper safety procedures, do not follow that order. It is better to lose a job than to lose a limb or your life.

If You Are a Victim of Serious and Willful Misconduct

You can potentially receive a larger settlement amount for your injury if you can prove that this was the cause of your accident. Discuss your accident in detail with your attorney to determine whether you were, in fact, a victim of such misconduct or if your accident was simply due to "regular" negligence.

Work with a San Jose Workplace Accident Attorney

If you are suffering from an injury because of an accident caused by your employer's misconduct, whether it was an intentional act to hurt you or a conscious decision on the part of your employer not to act to protect you from injury, you could be entitled to collect monetary compensation for your damages through a workplace accident claim. To learn more about your rights and options in this situation, contact our team of experienced San Jose workplace accident lawyers at Corsiglia, McMahon, & Allard, L.L.P. to schedule your initial legal consultation with us. We proudly serve clients throughout the Bay Area, San Mateo County, Alameda County, San Benito County, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County.

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I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
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