California Workers Compensation System
Today, workers’ compensation benefits encompass a wide array of injuries and illnesses: tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome from repeated keyboard use, respiratory issues from repeated agricultural spray exposures, chemical burns, patient to doctor transmission of viruses, post traumatic stress from criminal acts in the workplace, and much more. This is broader spectrum than in the earliest days of workers’ compensation. The economy was much different then, and the types of injuries most common to the workers’ compensation system were of the traditional manual labor variety. This type of labor typically involves lifting, moving, pulling, or pushing objects. With these motions comprising the nature of most labor performed in this era, injuries commonly affected the back, hands, feet, arms, and legs. An injury to even one part of the body could significantly limit a laborer’s ability to perform job duties involving lifting, pushing, pulling, or moving objects.
Today, even mere tendinitis might have a far-reaching impact on an employee’s ability to work. With so much of the nation’s workforce sitting at desks operating computers, wrist tendinitis, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome are impediments to job performance. Fortunately, workers’ compensation covers these types of work-related injuries in addition to traditional manual labor job tasks.
California Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Routed Through Insurance Rather Than The Courts
In the distant past, a workplace injury could initiate a series of tragedies for the injured worker. Back then, the courtroom was the only place an injured employee could seek compensation from his or her employer. In court, the employee would have to prove the injury was the result of negligence on the part of the employer. As one might expect, meeting this burden of proof required both and money and time, and was sometimes difficult to do. Even if the employee bringing suit was ultimately successful, he or she might have been unable to afford medical treatment prior to receiving compensation. If unable to afford medical treatment, the employee might have been unable to work, and also experience a diminished possibility for full recovery. Complicating things further, if unable to work, the employee might not have been able to provide for his or her family. It was a potentially nightmarish situation – devastating for employees, but also hurting the American economy by reducing the nation’s workforce, whether temporarily or permanently. Employers faced dangers as well; successful employee lawsuits sometimes resulted in huge jury awards for damages that threatened an employer’s ability to operate. To better the circumstances of the employee, employer, and American economy, the workers’ compensation system was put in place to make it easier for injured workers to obtain medical and disability benefits from employers through the employer insurance providers rather than the courts, thereby getting employees back to work when possible, and financially protected when impossible.
If you have been injured on the job in the state of California, contact an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney. The workers’ compensation system is complex, and a skilled attorney will work to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to.