What is considered a work related injury in California.
In california, an injured worker can file a claim for workers compensation benefits if the injuries were sustained 1) Arising Out of Employment, and during the 2) Course of Employment. In other words the injury (or the causation of the injury) must occur due to work/at work.
There are two types of injuries:1) Specific injury: is an injury that occurs due to a specific incident, such as a slip and fall or an accident. In other words the injury occurred on a specific date and time.
2) Cumulative Trauma injury: is an injury that occurs over time due to repetitive activities at work (wear and tear). An example would be a painter feeling pain to his shoulder due to continuous work; or a laborer that develops back pain due to continuous lifting, pulling/pushing. In cases of a Cumulative Trauma injuries, no specific date and time is needed. The date of the injury is generally from the start date to the end date of the exposure to the strenuous job.
Does workers compensation only cover orthopedic injuries?No. Workers compensation applies to all types of work injuries, whether it is orthopedic, internal, psychiatric, neurologic etc.
Any injury at work should be treated under workers compensation.
An injured worker can file a workers compensation claim for pain to any body part due to lifting, pulling, pushing, typing, writing, working in a kitchen, prolonged sitting, prolonged standing, walking, work stress, toxic exposure, etc.
Should an employee file a claim for workers compensation benefits for small injuries?Yes. An employee should file a workers compensation claim for all work injuries.
Many employees falsely believe it is best to treat through their private insurance for work injuries that are not significantly interfering with their daily life. That is a mistake.
A significant portion of workers compensation claims filed by attorneys are for injuries that do not require invasive treatment, such as strain to neck/back; or pain/numbness to wrists and hands.
An employee should always file a workers compensation claim for any work injury beyond first aid injuries.