Workers’ compensation under California law is a benefit delivery system for injured employees. It does not function like a civil lawsuit, where you have to prove that your employer did something wrong or behaved in a negligent manner. The only thing that you have to show for workers’ compensation is that you are an employee of the company and you were injured while performing your job duties. Performing your job duties can include times when you’re out of the office for your work, such as a driver or someone sent on an errand for the company. Even if you are actually at fault for an accident, you still can receive workers’ compensation benefits in California.
What Industries And Sectors Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation Law In California?
Pretty much any industry or sector is covered in California, with only a couple of exceptions. If you are an employee of the federal government, like the VA system or some other branch of the federal government, then your injuries would fall under the federal workers’ compensation law, which is completely different than California law. Other than that, there are no restrictions on the sectors.
Are All Employers Required To Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance In California?
All employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and if an employer does not have insurance, there is a state entity that will step into the place of an uninsured employer to ensure that you still get benefits.
What Benefits May The Employee Be Entitled To?
There are four main types of benefits under workers’ compensation. The first is temporary disability benefits, which you receive while you’re unable to work or while a doctor has given you work restrictions that prevent you from performing any job your employer can offer. Temporary disability provides two-thirds of your average weekly wages. In 2020 the minimum payment is $194.91 per week and it caps out at $1,251.38 per week. So, for example, if you made $1,000 a week, then you would get $667.67 while you are unable to work for your injury. You can receive this for up to 104 weeks.
The second type of benefit is the medical treatment, which the employers are required to provide. You may have to treat within a network of doctors approved by the insurance company, but you are entitled to get whatever type of treatment that you need.
The third type is permanent disability benefits, which is the money received for your injury. It does not mean that you can’t work anymore—this is just the term they use for the money you receive for your injury.
The last benefit is reserved for those employees who do receive permanent disability compensation and whose employer is unable to provide a position that could accommodate any permanent work restrictions. These employees can receive educational vouchers for $6,000 to go toward certain classes to learn a new career, with additional money to help with the expenses of completing these programs.
That’s a quick overview of the main benefits.
What Is A Compensable Injury Under California Workers’ Compensation Laws?
One type is a specific injury, which is caused by any type of accident that happens while you are working. As I said before, you don’t have to show that your employer did something wrong or was negligent. It’s just an accident that happened. It could even be caused by being attacked by a co-worker or a customer.
Another type of injury is a cumulative trauma injury, or a repetitive work injury. This occurs by doing your job over time, causing you to develop pains in your body that eventually get worse or even a serious injury. Something to note is that this type of injury doesn’t have to occur only at one employer. If you have a 20-year work history, your entire work history is considered in determining if you have sustained a cumulative trauma injury.
You can also bring a claim for experiencing stress or anxiety at your job. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload. Perhaps you’re being harassed by a coworker or even a supervisor. Perhaps you were treated horribly by a regular customer and nothing was done about it. Workplace harassment, stress, and anxiety are usually considered a cumulative trauma, because your response builds over time.
Finally, there’s exposure to dangerous work conditions, such as chemicals. If your exposure leads to an injury, you’re obviously entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
For more information on Workers’ Compensation Cases in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (323) 991-5915 today.
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