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What Types of Injuries are Covered by California Workers’ Compensation?

computer screen that read workers' compensation

California law requires that employers provide workers’ compensation benefits for any employee who was injured on the job. Benefits include medical care, temporary disability benefits and supplemental job placement benefits. The injury must be covered even if the person injured was at fault for causing the accident and injury. There are, however, some boundaries to the scope of injuries that workers’ compensation will cover. Learn below what types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, and contact a dedicated Southern California workers’ compensation attorney if you need help with a workers’ compensation claim on behalf of yourself or a deceased family member.

Work-Related Injuries Only

In order to be compensated for an injury, the injury or illness must have been “work-related.” The injury must have arisen out of the employment and have occurred during the course of employment. This means that the accident or exposure must have occurred in the work environment.

Events like an accident at work provide clear-cut cases for workers’ compensation coverage, but not every case is as straightforward. It may be more difficult to prove an accident was work-related if it occurred while the employee was doing something work-related while away from the office. Additionally, injuries or illnesses that develop over time can be more difficult to prove.

Injuries That Are Not Covered

There are specific categories of injuries that are not eligible for workers’ compensation. These injuries are not considered “work-related.” Workers are not eligible for compensation if the injury occurred while:

  • The worker was violating a workplace safety rule by, for example, drinking on the job.
  • The worker was on a lunch break.
  • The worker was attending a company function such as a corporate picnic or holiday party.
  • The worker was commuting to or from the workplace, although accidents on business trips are often covered.

These cases are not always clear-cut. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied as being outside the scope of employment or otherwise not work-related, a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help you get coverage.

Types of Injuries Covered

Various types of workplace injury are compensable under California law. Types of covered workplace injuries include:

  • Specific injuries. The most straightforward cases involve a specific workplace accident, such as being hit by a flying piece of equipment, cutting yourself on something sharp, or falling down the stairs, which lead to injuries like broken bones or head trauma.
  • Repetitive motion and overuse injuries. Workers’ compensation will cover repetitive strain or stress injuries that result from people performing the same task repeatedly over a long period of time. Many different types of jobs can lead to these sorts of injuries, from factory workers with back pain or tendonitis to desk workers developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Occupational illnesses and harmful exposure. Workers’ compensation will cover any illnesses that result from employment, even if they develop over time. For example, workers’ compensation will cover black lung from exposure to coal dust or some other condition caused by exposure to a toxic chemical in the workplace.
  • Psychiatric injuries. California workers’ compensation does cover emotional harm caused by stressful conditions at work. These can be trickier cases to prove, and the worker must demonstrate that the psychological condition was at least 51% caused by the job as opposed to external stressors such as a recent divorce. California workers’ compensation also covers emotional distress caused by a related physical injury.

Hurt on the Job in Southern California? Call a Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist

If you have a claim for workers’ compensation and want to make sure you get the maximum available coverage, call Invictus Law today at (888) 996-7552, and speak with an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate your claims.

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