California Workers' Compensation Law

10 Facts About California Workers’ Compensation

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We gathered a list of 10 Facts About California Workers Compensation because garnering basic knowledge of the California work comp system can be very beneficial when the unpredictable happens.

1. It's the law

California employers must provide workers compensation benefits to their employees under California Labor Code Section 3700. If a business employs one or more employees, then it must satisfy the requirement of the law.

2. No pointing fingers

California workers compensation law is a no fault system which means that it doesn’t matter if the work injury was your fault or the fault of the employer.

3. You won't lose out

Since pointing fingers isn't necessary, benefits are to be provided regardless of the negligence of either the employer or the employee.

4. Don't plan on suing

Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive remedy for an injured worker against the employer, except in very limited circumstances. If you're injured on the job you generally have no other remedy against the employer.

5. Not 100% Guaranteed

California workers compensation law does not provide for pain and suffering or lost wages (except for temporary disability) as part of the damages that can be recovered.

6. Proof is everything

California workers compensation law requires that the injured worker prove that the injury arose out of and occurred in the course and scope of employment. Of course,  a great example of this is someone actually witnessing your injury occur.

7. Specific

According to California work comp law, a specific injury occurs at a specific moment, such as a slip and fall. Specific injuries often result in no disputes between parties. The work injury occurs at a certain time, but needs no medical treatment and resulted in no disability is also considered specific, but no compensation is owed under the law.

8. Cumulative

A cumulative trauma injury is one that occurs over a period of time. Common examples would be:

  • Repetitive keyboarding that leads to carpal tunnel.
  • Prolonged lifting which leads to back problems.
  • Prolonged kneeling which leads to knee injuries.
  • Continuous exposure to dust which leads to lung disease.
  • Continuous stressful conditions which leads to heart problems.

Cumulative injuries must be proved with medical evidence from a doctor.

9. Difficult to prove emotions

Psychiatric, mental or emotional injuries are all recognized under California workers compensation law, but are extremely difficult to prove. The work stresses must be the predominant cause of the injured worker’s problem and the stress cannot arise out of a “good faith personnel action.” Claims for psychiatric injury are usually denied by employers and insurance companies and the courts consider almost anything an employer does a “good faith personnel action” unless it is outrageous or illegal conduct.

10. In certain cases it can be proven

Psychiatric injuries can also result from a specific event such as a bank robbery or a physical assault on the job, or as a result of a specific injury that has resulted in very serious physical disabilities considered to be catastrophic. What is considered catastrophic has not yet been defined by the courts. In any case for psychiatric injury though, the injured worker must have been on the job for at least six months to bring a psychiatric claim at all.

Time to get help

Getting injured at work can be an overwhelming and confusing experience. Thankfully, California law allows you to seek out and hire a work injury attorney for guidance and representation.

Navarro Law Firm has successfully maximized the benefits of many injured workers and we'd like to do that for you too.

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