What are the rights of injured California workers?


Most California workers find comfort in knowing that they will be entitled to financial relief in the event of workplace injuries. However, many have questions about which injuries are covered and to which benefits they will be entitled. The state-regulated workers’ compensation system is a no-fault program that pays benefits when applicable, regardless of who was at fault.

Falls, burns, on-the-job driving accidents and struck-by or crushed-by incidents all qualify for benefits, providing they occurred while working. Injuries caused by repetitive motions that cause progressive damage to a worker’s back, hand or another body part also qualify as work-related. The same applies to hearing loss caused by excessive noise exposure. However, only some psychological or stress-related injuries are covered. Typically excluded are injuries reported after an employee was given notice of termination.

The comp coverage usually includes all medical expenses, including physical therapy, medications and even reasonable travel expenses to get to and from medical appointments. This applies regardless of whether the injured worker missed workdays. However, a certain percentage of lost work hours are covered for workers whose injuries caused temporary disabilities. Permanent disabilities are covered at different levels, depending on whether it is a partial or total disability.

The claims process could be daunting for an injured worker. For that reason, many of them choose to seek the support and guidance of an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney. Legal counsel can also explain how Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits work, and the conditions under which workers are eligible for such vouchers to assist with skill enhancement or retraining.

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