California’s Workers’ Compensation System Is Slow To Treat Injured Employees, And The Results Are Shocking

BY: Koszdin | Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

California is ranked as one of the slowest states to start treating injured workers. Employees must wait for a Workers’ Compensation approved treating physician or specialist. Sometimes the approved medical professionals are hundreds of miles away.

If you have suffered an injury in a workplace accident, consult our Los Angeles, workers compensation attorneys. At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, our specialized team will work to secure the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Delayed Treatment for Workers’ Injuries Leads to Higher Rates of Disability in California

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau conducted a study to show the impact the pandemic was having on delayed care. However, given that there is very little information published at this time, the Bureau used historical data to evaluate workers’ injuries in the long term. What they found was surprising.

  • On average, soft tissue injury claims had a one-month delay before treatment began
  • Delayed medical attention prolonged the injuries, caused a longer duration of temporary disability, and contributed to permanent disability
  • Medical costs associated with delayed treatment resulted in medical expenses that were 32% higher than claims that were treated within the first 18 days after injury
  • Low back injuries had the most extended delay in treatment
  • 71% of delayed treatment for low back injuries resulted in permanent disability
  • Those who received timely medical care only resulted in 51% permanent disability
  • Medical costs associated with lower back treatment delays were 253% above average
  • Temporary disability was 6 times longer than the average

Employees who suffer injuries on the job are prone to higher rates of temporary and permanent disability due to an inadequate workers’ compensation system.

California Proposes Bill to Get Workers Treated Faster

California legislators are making an effort to get injured workers the treatment they need in a timely manner. Assembly Bill 1465 was introduced by Assemblywomen Eloise Reyes and Lorena Gonzalez. The bill would “create a statewide medical provider network” that would give injured employees more freedom to choose a physician or specialist.

Currently, the MPN is very restrictive, causing unnecessary postponements.

According to the latest data;

  • Injury and illness rates in the workforce are 2.8 per 100 full-time employees
  • Fatalities are at a rate of 3.5 per 100,000

California has seen an increase in work-related deaths. The Department of Industrial Relations conducted a report that saw 422 Californians killed at work compared to 376 deaths the previous year. If you have lost someone you love in a workplace accident, our dedicated fatal workplace injury attorneys are compassionate and skilled. We will take the time to thoroughly investigate what happened to give you the closure and compensation you deserve.

Koszdin, Fields & Sherry Are Your Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, we have extensive experience helping injured workers. Often, hurt workers are denied benefits and need a qualified Los Angeles, California workers’ compensation attorney to fight for their rights. Contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-747-3447. Let us even the playing field.

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