California Workers’ Compensation

Sacramento California Workers Compensation Attorneys at Mehlhop & Vogt Help Injured Workers in California

A workers compensation injury is defined in California’s Labor Code Section 3208 as any injury or disease arising out of employment. It can be physical or mental (non physical) harm. To be compensable the injury must produce disability or medical treatment more than first aid.

Workers compensation benefits are usually the exclusive remedy available to the injured worker. The system is designed to compensate injured workers for disabilities that occur on the job and to provide medical treatment that is reasonable and necessary to cure or relieve the effects of an injury.

An injured worker does not have to prove anyone was at fault for causing the injury. The tradeoff for the employer is there are limited damages payments that are set forth by statute. No compensation is paid for pain and suffering and other general damages like those in personal injury lawsuits. However, wages are paid while the injured worker is off work, and in some instances, additional permanent compensation or job retraining are available.

California worker compensation law, passed by the state Legislature more than 85 years ago, guarantees prompt, automatic benefits to workers injured on the job. Before workers’ compensation, injured workers had to sue their employers to recover medical costs and lost wages. Lawsuits took months and sometimes years. Juries and judges had to decide who was at fault and how much, if anything, would be paid. Too often, the injured worker got nothing. It was costly, time consuming and unfair.

Today, workers’ compensation is faster and fairer. If you cannot work because of a job injury, workers’ compensation pays your medical bills and provides money to help replace your lost income until you can return to work.