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2024 What Does Workers’ Comp Cover in California?

Most people working in the state are at least somewhat familiar with the state’s workers’ compensation system, and they can file a claim if they are hurt at work. But in 2024, what does workers’ comp cover in California? Many people have misconceptions about what they should expect when filing this type of claim. The Canlas Law Group aims to provide guidance for those who expect to file workers’ compensation claims in the near future.

Workers’ compensation insurance exists to provide specific protections to both employers and their employees. For employers, this insurance protects them against civil liability for injured workers’ damages, meaning they cannot be sued in response to most workplace injuries. For employees, this insurance provides financial assistance when they are hurt at work, aiding in their recovery and mitigating the economic impact of their inability to work in recovery.

Most Employers Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance in the State

Almost every employer in California is required to have workers’ compensation insurance, and almost all workers are covered by this insurance. If you are hurt while working, you need to report the injury to your supervisor within 30 days; otherwise, you could be disqualified from filing a claim. The statute of limitations or time limit for filing the claim is one year from the date the injury happened, but you must still meet the reporting deadline.

If you are wondering whether your specific injury is covered, the main determining factor is whether the injury occurred while you were performing your job duties. As long as you were injured during the course of work, you are likely covered. It is important to remember that workers’ compensation does not apply to injuries sustained while going to or coming from work, such as injuries from a car accident that occurred during your commute.

Receiving Benefits

When you have a qualified injury and report it to your supervisor, workers’ compensation can provide benefits that cover your medical expenses and offset your inability to work following the accident. The average injured claimant can expect full medical expense coverage for a work-related injury, but their disability benefits will vary based on their usual earnings and whether they retain any functional capacity to work following their injury.

As part of your claim filing process, you will need to visit a workers’ compensation physician who will assign you a disability rating based on the severity of your injury and whether you will be able to work in the future. This assessment must go to your employer’s insurance company for review. Your employer’s insurance company will issue a determination of benefits once they complete their review of your claim.

If you have any concerns about the insurance company’s handling of the claim, or if you are unsure whether your determination of benefits is fair and reasonable, your attorney can assist you in addressing any such issues. They can also help explore any additional avenues of recovery that might be available to you.

Ultimately, workers’ compensation is a valuable lifeline for anyone who has suffered an injury at work, but navigating the claim filing process can be challenging. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help their client file their claim, resolve any disputes they encounter with their employer or their insurance carrier, and assist them in maximizing the compensation they receive for their workplace injury.


Q: Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation if I Caused My Own Injury?

A: Yes, you could claim workers’ compensation if you caused your own injury in most cases. State workers’ compensation functions on a no-fault basis, so there is no need to prove fault for most claims. However, if you intentionally violated workplace safety rules, engaged in horseplay, or if you injured yourself because you were working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, these factors could disqualify you from benefits.

Q: Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for Pain and Suffering?

A: No, workers’ compensation does not pay for pain and suffering. Even if you sustained a life-changing catastrophic injury, workers’ compensation insurance will provide medical expense coverage and disability benefits to make up for lost income. However, if you have grounds for a third-party personal injury suit or other civil claim, you could seek pain and suffering compensation from the defendant who caused the injury.

Q: How Much Can I Receive in Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

A: The amount you can receive in workers’ compensation benefits in California generally depends on the scope and severity of the damages you sustained and your usual earnings. An injured claimant can receive full coverage of all their medical bills related to their injury as well as ongoing disability benefits that reflect their inability to work and earn income after their injury. Your attorney can help maximize your benefits from the insurance company.

Q: Can an Employee be Fired on Workers’ Compensation?

A: Yes, it is possible for an employee to be fired while on workers’ compensation in California under the state’s at-will employment law. This law allows an employer to terminate an employee as they see fit, with or without prior notice or citing a specific reason. However, this law does not permit the employer to fire an employee for an illegal reason. Firing an employee in response to their workers’ compensation claim would be an example of unlawful employer retaliation.

Q: What Will It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

A: The cost to hire a workers’ compensation attorney in California may amount to only a percentage of the total benefits you receive from your successful claim. The Canlas Law Group uses a contingency fee policy to ensure our legal representation is accessible to those who need it most. Our firm will take a percentage of the final settlement we secure for you, but only if and when we win your case.

The right attorney can help you make clearer sense of your workers’ compensation claim and assist you with maximizing your benefits. The Canlas Law Group has helped many past clients with all types of work injury claims, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you. If you are ready to learn how an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you, contact the Canlas Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with our team.

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