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Compensable injuries under California’s workers’ compensation law

In California, every business, even those with just one employee, must provide workers’ compensation benefits, also known as ‘workers’ comp.’ As an employee, this means you have a safety net if you get hurt or become sick because of your job. This insurance helps cover your medical costs and lost wages.

But, the key point is that these benefits are specific to incidents related to your work. If you get injured or become sick from something not related to your job, you won’t be able to claim these benefits.

Conditions of compensable injuries

Workers’ comp benefits cover injuries or illnesses under certain conditions. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Work-related injuries or illnesses: This covers any injury or disease you get directly from your job. It includes accidents at work and illnesses from exposure to harmful substances at your workplace.
  2. Cumulative injuries: These are injuries that build up over time from repetitive motion or stress. Examples are carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems from constant heavy lifting.
  3. Psychological injuries: In some cases, work-related mental and emotional stress can count as an injury. These cases can be complex and might need more evidence.
  4. Occupational diseases: These are illnesses directly caused by your job or conditions at your workplace. Examples include lung disease from harmful chemicals or cancer from carcinogens.

These conditions cover a variety of injuries and illnesses. But they’re not the only ones. Other work-related injuries or illnesses could also qualify for workers’ compensation.

Your rights as a worker in California

As a worker, it’s important to know that workers’ comp benefits are only for injuries or illnesses that occur due to your job. If the workers’ compensation board or insurance company determines your injury or illness is from personal activities or factors unrelated to your workplace, you won’t be eligible for these benefits.

Understanding and proving a claim can be complex, especially when there’s uncertainty about the cause of your injury or illness. Seeking an attorney can be beneficial in such situations. An attorney can guide you through the process, establish the validity of your claim and gather evidence to show that your job caused your injury or illness.