A “specific injury” occurs “as the result of one incident or exposure which causes disability or need for medical treatment.” Labor Code Section 3208.1. This is the most common type of workers’ compensation injury. Broken bones, contusions, and cuts are examples of specific injuries.
A “cumulative trauma” injury is the result of “repetitive mentally or physically traumatic activities extending over a period of time, the combined effect of which causes any disability or the need for medical treatment.” Labor Code Section 3208.1. Examples of cumulative trauma injuries include: carpal tunnel syndrome, torn meniscus, and plantar fasciitis.
Medical treatment is one of the main benefits provided through the workers’ compensation system. Under Labor Code Section 4600, an employer is required to provide all medical expenses that are “reasonably required to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of the injury.” The employer is also obligated to reimburse an employee for travel expenses and wage loss related to a medical examination and treatment, and is liable for payment of interpreters.
Temporary Disability (TD) is a non-taxable benefit paid over a seven-day week and is designed to replace your wages while you are temporarily disabled because of your work-related injury or illness. If you are still working but have reduced hours or wages, you may be entitled to Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), commonly called wage loss, to make up for some of the money lost due to your injury or illness. If you are not able to work at all because of your injury or illness, you may be entitled to Temporary Total Disability (TTD). Some employers provide plans that pay all your wages for all or part of your temporary disability period. These are called salary continuation benefits. There are different types of salary continuation plans. Some use your vacation and/or sick leave to supplement the temporary disability payments required by state law.
Under California Labor Code Section 132a, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer has terminated you or threatened to terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should discuss your situation with an attorney.
I also provide representation for cases involving third-party liability. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, your case may have a third-party liability component.
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