What is workers' compensation law?
Workers' compensation is the oldest social insurance program; it was adopted in most states, including California, in the 1920s. It is paid for by the employer, and supplies cash benefits and medical care if you become disabled because of an injury or illness related to your job. Financial benefits may also extend to workers' dependents and to the survivors of workers who are killed on the job. In most circumstances, workers' compensation pays relatively modest amounts and prevents the worker or dependents from suing the employer for the injuries or death. All employees are covered by workers' compensation law.
The workers' compensation system is premised on a trade-off between employees and employers: Employees are supposed to promptly receive the limited statutory workers' compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries, and the limited workers' compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy for injured employees against their employer, even when the employer negligently caused the injury.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can address specific litigation issues. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that injured employees need not prove the injury was someone else's fault in order to receive workers' compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury. This no-fault structure eliminates litigation over whether employers were negligent in causing workers' injuries. Litigation focuses on other issues, such as whether the injury was sustained on-the-job or how much in benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive.
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