When talking about the law, an appropriate description always used involves likening the history of the law to the history of the civilization of mankind. And since the ancient days of Egypt, Roman, and Greece, the legal system has undergone several changes over the years.
These days, the law’s primary aim is to protect and guide its citizens. This is why there are laws for just about anything; from laws on marijuana consumption to laws pertaining to large companies and laws for smaller and medium enterprises.
Today, in the United States laws are made by Congress who creates and passes bills within the house. Upon the successful passing of a bill, they are then signed into law by the President, but they are still subject to approval from the Supreme Court who can revoke them if the law is found to be contrary to the highest law in the land (The Constitution).
Apart from laws passed by the federal government, there are also state and local laws that only apply within said state or district. Laws like these cease to apply as soon as one leaves the jurisdiction of said state. Because of these, state laws usually differ from state to state although they may be referring to the same thing.
An example of such a law is the Labor Code Law. This law was passed to provide guidelines for employers of labor. Amongst all the information it contains is a section regarding work injury compensation. This article would be running you through 10 facts about work injury compensation in the state of California.
There is no running from it workplace compensation
It is written in the law. According to the California Labor Code Section 3700, all employers must provide their employee’s compensation benefits. As long as it a legally registered business employing one or more individuals, it must satisfy this requirement.
Again, there is no avoiding it since it’s a no-fault system
The California Workers Compensation Law runs a no-fault system that means regardless of the cause of the injury, the compensation must be paid.
Workers compensation favors the employee
In this case, the law backs the employee. And since blame cannot be traded, benefits are sure to be provided irrespective of the person at fault.
You don’t have to sue
The Compensation Law can be considered a benefit that cannot be taken away except for very exceptional circumstances. As long as you sustain an injury on the job, your organization is expected to make the necessary financial remuneration.
It may not cover everything
Although the law guarantees you are paid something as a result of the injury suffered, it does not account for compensation for pain and suffering or even lost salary as part of the damages that can be repaid.
Don’t forget to bring proof
In a bid to be fair to both the employers and the employees, the law demands that the injured party provide adequate evidence that said injury occurred while on the job. This could easily be taken care of by eyewitness testimony.
Not all kinds of injuries are covered by the law
According to the Compensation Law, a specific injury may occur at any given moment. An example of this is a slip and fall and such injuries end up in no disputes between the parties involved. Injuries that occurred but needed no medical treatment and caused no permanent disabilities are not subject to compensation under the law:
Long-term injuries apply to workers comp
Not all injuries happen in the moment. Some injuries are caused as a result of multiple exposures to a specific factor or condition over the years. Such injuries need to be backed with sufficient medical evidence from the doctor. Examples of such diseases include:
- Repetitive keyboarding could cause carpal tunnel
- Prolonged lifting could cause back problems
- Prolonged kneeling could cause knee injuries
- Continuous exposure to dust could cause lung disease
- Continuous stressful conditions could cause heart problems
It is almost impossible to get compensation for emotional trauma in San Diego
Although cases pertaining to mental, psychiatric, or emotional injuries are wholly recognized within California’s Worker Compensation Law, they are almost impossible to prove. The fact that the job stresses must be the main cause of the injured worker’s issues and the stress cannot have been triggered by a “good faith personnel action.” This is why most psychiatric and emotional injuries are denied by employers and insurance companies and most courts find it hard to indict an employer unless for extreme situations.
Almost impossible does not mean never
Some emotional, mental, or psychiatric injuries could be triggered as a result of being part of a traumatic experience that happened while on the job. For example, being a witness to a bank robbery or sustaining grave physical injuries on the job. While there is no legal definition as what could be termed as catastrophic, it is up to the courts to decide this on a case by case basis. The basic expectation is that the employee should have been employed at the business for at least six months before being able to launch a psychiatric claim.
Here are some of the benefits and entitlements injured workers are entitled to under California’s Worker Compensation Laws:
- A complete refund of medical costs incurred whilst treating the injury
- Temporary disability payments are paid to injured workers for the time taken off work while trying to recover from their injury
- Permanent disability payments for those who sustained permanent, irreversible injuries
- Life pension payments are for employees that become severely disabled
- Vocational retraining costs are open for employees who can no longer go back to their old jobs and are without another shot at employment
- Death benefits are paid out to relatives of workers killed while working
An important thing to note is that all payments and non-cash benefits that are received under the Compensation Law are exempt from taxes and is not the same as other benefits one might receive like unemployment.
Contact Walker Law Today About Work Injury Compensation in San Diego
Should you find yourself subject to an employer who is refusing to pay the necessary and appropriate compensation, contact Walker Law today. As a specialist employment law firm based in San Diego, we will be able to give you professional advice to help take your case forward.