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How Does California Workers’ Compensation Work?

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Worker’s Compensation benefits are all statutory benefits set forth in the California Labor Code. Anybody performing services for another will be covered for an on the job injury, as long as the injury arose out of and occurred during the course of employment. The benefits are essentially medical treatment, temporary disability, permanent disability and a very inadequate voucher. Worker’s Comp is very different than personal injury laws that are pursued through the superior court. Under the current system, the employer has the right to designate the doctors from whom the injured worker must treat. Sweet, right? Every time we get a “reform” legislative change, the insurance industry gets more control over the system. For instance, recent changes to the laws reduced temporary disability payments to a maximum of two years. Ridiculous;but true.

Deposition

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A deposition is a person’s testimony under oath. It is subject to the penalty of perjury. That means that the deponent must testify truthfully as to any and all issues which are material to the lawsuit or litigation. In a worker’s comp case it is absolutely necessary to disclose any and all prior injury claims or accidents.
Since the deposition is a discovery tool, the defendants have the right to inquire as to not only relevant facts, but also any facts which might lead to the discovery of relevant information. A deponent should never volunteer information at a deposition, but only answer a question that is posed. Never assume that the friendly attorney asking you questions is your friend, or has sympathy toward your case. Honey just works better than vinegar. Watch out. . .

Temporary Total Disability

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In the case of Zinke v. WCAB January, 2013 The WCAB limited the applicant to 104 weeks of temporary disability even if the applicant showed that the defendants delayed medical treatment which was not sufficient to establish equitable estoppel or totaling of the relevant time period so as to prevent defendant from asserting the 104 week limit on temporary disability payments.