NEARLY 15,000 WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS FILED IN CALIFORNIA FOR COVID-19 EXPOSURE THROUGH JUNE 30, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect communities throughout the country. The California Department of Public Health reports that more than 525,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the state as of August 5, 2020. Despite sanitizing efforts, the virus may be transmitted almost anywhere, including in the workplace. Recently, the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) […]

POST-TERMINATION DEFENSE AND THE CUMULATIVE TRAUMA CLAIM

by Ricky Halladay Have you ever received notice of a workers’ compensation claim by an injured worker after they were terminated from employment? This is not a unique situation, and in fact, occurs more often than one would think. Labor Code section 3600(a)(10) states, when the claim for compensation is filed after notice of termination […]

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: WHAT CONSTITUTES SERIOUS AND WILLFUL MISCONDUCT BY AN EMPLOYER?

In California, employers are legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. In most cases, a workers’ compensation claim is an injured employee’s sole legal claim against the company. However, there are some limited exceptions to the rule. Under California Labor Code § 4553, an employee can seek additional damages from an employer […]

UNINSURED EMPLOYER CLAIMS IN CALIFORNIA: KNOW THE RISK OF HIRING AN UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR

Under California state law, employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The failure to do so could result in an employer facing stiff legal penalties. Among other things, a business or organization may be hit with civil damages, regulatory fines, additional penalty compensation, and potentially even criminal charges. Most business owners […]

HOW TO AVOID BEING STUCK IN A CONSTANT LOOP OF REPLACEMENT PANEL QME REQUESTS

Have you ever been stuck in a constant loop of replacement panel requests, one after another, ultimately causing significant delay in the discovery process? Nowadays, the panel QME process is almost inevitable in the handling of every workers’ compensation claims to resolve any and all disputed medical issues, particularly in cases where the applicant is […]

WHAT IS SUBROGATION AND HOW DOES IT APPLY TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS IN CALIFORNIA?

Workers’ compensation benefits must be provided no matter who was at fault for the job-related accident. An injured employee can bring a claim for more medical coverage and disability benefits, even if the employer did nothing wrong. That being said, it is important for insurers, claims administrators, and employers to determine exactly how an accident […]

CALIFORNIA LABOR CODE SECTION 4553: AN OVERVIEW OF SERIOUS AND WILLFUL MISCONDUCT CLAIMS

You may have heard that a workers’ compensation claim is the exclusive remedy that injured employees have against their employer in California. While that is mostly true, there is a narrow, but important exception: A serious and willful misconduct claim. In a serious and willful misconduct claim,an employer may face additional legal liability after a […]

CALIFORNIA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION QUALIFIED MEDICAL EVALUATORS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

As explained by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), QMEs are licensed doctors who have been trained and certified by the state’s DWC. When there are questions regarding the nature and severity of an employee’s injury, a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) may be brought in to bring additional clarity and help resolve the issue. […]

A TIP TO AVOID FURTHER DELAYS DURING PANEL SPECIALTY DISPUTES

With today’s online Panel Qualified Medical Evaluator request system, it is often a race to be the party to designate the panel specialty.  All too often the fate of a case hinges on the click of a submittal button. Despite defendants’ best efforts, there are times where applicant’s counsel is able to secure the specialty […]

LABOR CODE SECTION 132(a): WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial protection to employees who were injured while on the job. Following an incident in the workplace, employees have a right to file a claim—even if employers are confident that the claim is meritless. Under California law (Labor Code section 132(a)), employers are legally prohibited from taking adverse action against a […]