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California Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation coverage is provided by California employers who are injured while performing their normal job function or who are disabled due to an occupational illness or disease. According to California workers' compensation laws and the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) who monitors the administration of California workers' compensation claims, and provides administrative and judicial services to assist California employees, employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance if they have even one employee (some exceptions may exist).

The goal of workers' compensation or workman's compensation is to provide immediate relief to workers who are injured in a work-related accident without the employees having to file a personal injury claim and forcing their employer to pay lost wage compensation or for their medical expenses. Employees are limited, under California workers compensation law, in the amount of compensation they can recover from their employer but the trade-off is the employer must pay for necessary and reasonable medical care and in some cases for lost wages without the employee proving the employer was negligent.

California employers who fail to carry workers' compensation coverage may be charged with a criminal offense. According to Section 3700.5 of the California Code "it is a misdemeanor punishable by either a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or both". The state can also issue penalties up to $100,000 against illegally uninsured employers.

Work Injuries Covered
Under California Workers' Compensation

In most cases, workers' compensation will only cover work injuries which arise "out of and in the course of employment". If you are injured while performing an activity directly related to your job, you should be eligible for worker's compensation. California employees who are on are injured on a business trip must be engaged in activities required for their job. Workers also may not be covered if they are voluntarily participating in an employee sponsored recreational event, if their injuries are self-inflicted, if they were engaged in horseplay with a co-worker or if they were intoxicated and injured on the job.

Common illnesses and work injuries that are generally covered
if they occur while engaged in normal business activities or functions can include:

California Worker's Compensation Benefits

There is a three calendar day waiting period before injured employees will receive wage benefits. The three days do not have to be consecutive. If the employee is hospitalized, the injury resulted from a criminal act of violence or if the work injury extends more than 14 calendar days and is unable to return to work the waiting period is waived. The waiting period may also be waived for California employees who meet certain requirements as stated under the California Labor Code Section 4800 and 4800.5.

California workers injured on the job may be entitled to lost wage compensation and paid medical expenses.