February 21, 2023

The Challenges of Navigating the California Workers' Compensation System

It’s been ten years since the last major reform in the California Workers’ Compensation system. Despite the many difficulties in navigating the system, the legislature does not seem motivated to do much of anything to address the many problems in moving injured workers through the system and insuring that they get the benefits they are entitled to. 

 If we were asked and we believe if you asked most attorneys practicing in this system what is the most pressing need for a reform, it would be the need for the receipt of timely and adequate treatment. Time and time again we attorneys and our support staff spend countless hours virtually every day combing through MPN lists for physicians who will actually agree to see injured workers or fighting to obtain treatment for our clients which was denied by faceless utilization review physicians who have never actually seen or examined our clients. The end result of this nightmare typically is the injured worker, especially those who are not represented by attorneys who are fighting for their rights, does whatever he can to extricate himself from the system and then go to his group health physician to finally get the treatment he needs. Thus, while it is true that worker’s compensation treatment costs are going down, the burden of treating the injured worker is simply being transferred to another system. My hope is the legislature will wake up, make the necessary changes to the system that enables an injured worker to obtain timely and necessary medical treatment to optimize a speedy recovery and therefore allow the worker back to work, which is in the best interest of everyone. 

 If you’re an individual who has been injured on the job and you need some advice or help navigating the ever increasingly difficult system of California Workers’ Compensation, give the attorneys at Baziak and Steevens a call and they would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.