David Park, Attorney at Law

California Workers’ Compensation Claims

“No Fault” – at least in theory

In California, workers’ compensation claims are administered through a “no-fault” insurance system. If you suffer an injury on the job, you file a worker’s compensation claim against your employer, and your employer is required by law to provide you with workers’ compensation benefits, including medical treatment, all without your having to prove whose fault it was.

There is a trade-off though. On one hand, the injured worker is supposed to receive quick and easy access to medical treatment and disability benefits. On the other hand, the employer is protected from any civil lawsuits over the injury with the exception of certain very limited circumstances.

The Reality of Workers Comp

This trade-off is not always in the injured worker’s favor, however. For example, workers’ compensation benefits do not include compensation for things like lost earnings and pain and suffering, which are allowed normally in a regular civil lawsuit.

Even worse, when you’re injured at work, the reality is that your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company will do whatever it takes to minimize their cost and expense on your claim. That is just what they do.

Don’t Be Anybody’s Fool

Don’t be naive and think idealistically that just because you busted your butt, day in and day out, perhaps for many, many years, working for your company, that now that you’ve been hurt, the company is going to step up, do the right thing, and take care of you, their loyal employee. Wrong. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.

next: Types of Injuries