2023 California Workers’ Compensation Laws – All You Need to Know

Getting injured on the job is never easy to handle, especially when facing large medical bills and prolonged recovery times. Workers’ compensation is primarily used to help workers facing these injuries focus on their recovery rather than their return to work, and employers have a duty to provide their staff with workers’ compensation pay. California state law covers employees and ensures that their injuries are compensated by their employer, introducing new legislation and guidelines on an annual basis.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a particular set of payments made to cover the expenses and medical bills related to injuries that happened on the job. From slip and fall injuries to much larger and more serious long-term problems, getting injured at work, as would any injury, varies drastically from case to case. In some industries, like construction or manual labor-based jobs, the likelihood of injuries can increase due to the nature of the work.

Workers’ compensation payments can cover expenses related to paying medical bills, lost wages during recovery periods, permanent disability, and, in some cases, death benefits relating to wrongful death that occurred on the job. No amount of money can change the course of events that led to these payments, especially for more serious injuries. However, having financial stability in these uncertain and stressful times can help you focus on recovery rather than bills.

Common Sources of Work-Related Injuries

Although workplace-related injuries are often random, some situations will have frequent opportunities for injury. In some cases, these injuries are the result of negligence on behalf of your employer, especially when it comes to ensuring that all OSHA standards are met in the workplace. Repetitive motion, faulty equipment, or broken packaging can lead to certain injuries. Here are some of the most common accidents faced by employees in the workplace:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Accidents resulting from faulty equipment or broken packaging
  • Repetitive motion-related injuries, like carpal tunnel
  • Vehicle-related accidents, either with cars or equipment like forklifts
  • Overexertion or exhaustion-related injuries
  • Falls from unsecured platforms or high points within the workplace
  • Brain injuries resulting from collisions or falling objects

In most instances, these injuries are avoidable and are the result of a lack of oversight in ensuring proper safety measures. However, repetitive motion injuries and other injuries of that caliber are usually the result of long-term presence in the workplace. Regardless of what injuries you are facing, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation for them.

What Is Temporary Total Disability?

Temporary Total Disability, or TTD, is a form of workers’ compensation allotted during the recovery process of any workplace injury, matching up to ⅔ of your pay during that recovery period. As of 2022, the total amount of TTD benefits that workers can collect has increased overall. Due to the large number of jobs lost during the pandemic, specifically lower-income positions, the California State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) increased, meaning that the TTD rate increased as well. The TTD rate increases are good news for employees who are sidelined from work for a while due to injuries sustained on the job. In particular, those at the minimum wage and well beyond it will profit the most from them.

For example, if a part-time cashier makes $15 per hour while working 20 hours per week, they will receive a $300 weekly salary on average. They used to receive only around $200 a week in TTD benefits, which is only about two-thirds of their typical weekly pre-injury salary. However, with the amendments set to take effect in 2022, the same cashier will receive at least $230.95. Many people in difficult financial situations will state that an extra $30 or so can be of immense help.

FAQs About California Workers’ Compensation Law

What Do I Need to Know About Workers’ Comp in California?

California Labor Code Section 3700 mandates that all employers in the state of California offer their staff workers’ compensation coverage. If a company has one or more employees, it is required to offer workers’ compensation insurance to each of them. Regardless of field, all California-based businesses are subject to this stipulation.

What Is the Maximum Workers’ Compensation in California in 2023?

The weekly earnings on which TTD is based must grow by a percentage equal to the increase in the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) over that of the previous year. The minimum and maximum temporary total disability (TTD) rates for 2023 will rise on January 1st, according to the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The minimum and maximum TTD rates will rise from $203.44 to $230.95 and $1,356.31 to $1,539.71 per week, respectively.

What 4 Types of Issues Are Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation will not be awarded to an employee if:

  1. They sustained the harm while engaging in criminal or illegal activity at work.
  2. They were not on the job or executing their duties when the injury happened.
  3. The injury occurred because they were breaking corporate policies or disregarding safety regulations.
  4. The injury happened when the employee was drunk or under the influence of drugs.

How Do I Maximize My Workers’ Comp Settlement in California?

Reporting your workplace accident as soon as it occurs is one of the best ways to ensure a maximum workers’ compensation payment. The sooner you file a claim, the less likely you are to overlook a crucial element. You want to make sure that all the facts are still fresh in your mind and that you write your report on a legitimate workers’ compensation form.

Finding Legal Help for Workers’ Compensation Cases

Handling any workers’ compensation case can be exceedingly stressful, especially when facing uncooperative employers refusing to acknowledge their hand in your injuries. Fortunately, finding solid legal representation for these matters can help provide a sense of security and stability when addressing your injuries. The workers’ comp legal team at Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio Inc. is well-versed in workers’ compensation laws, providing you with that much-needed support to seek out the payments you deserve. For legal help with your worker’s compensation case, contact us today.

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