Types of Workers Compensation Injuries

Specific Injury

If you injure yourself during work on a specific date or event then it is considered a specific injury.  The day that it happened is the date of injury. Examples of “specific date of injury” are falling, accidents caused by machinery or car accidents while working.

Continuous Trauma

Continuous Trauma is a cumulative injury that occurs over time, caused by repetitive mental or physical trauma. Such examples are Carpal tunnel Syndrome, Tendinitis, Tenosynovitis, Mental, muscular, etc.

Death Accidents in the Workplace

When a death occurs under unexplained circumstances on the employer’s premises, the employee is entitled to a presumption or inference that the death arouses out of the employment. Dependent’s case is separate from employee’s case, therefore from the disability case resjudicata does not apply but collateral estoppel does apply to the issues.

Who is a  wholly dependent?

  • If the child was living with deceased parent who is physically or mentally incapacitated from earning.
  • If minor is legal dependent and there is no surviving totally dependent parent.
  • If spouse earning less than $30,000 in the preceding 12 months at of death.

Benefits are determined by the date of injury not the date of death. After the payment of the death benefits, one or more “totally dependent minors payments” continue until the youngest minor reaches age 18, or until the death of a child physically or mentally incapacitated from earning.

Psychiatric

Applies to 6 months employment or a sudden extraordinary condition. The period of 6 months is not applicable where the psyche disability is a compensable consequence of physical injury. (Source Curtis v. WCAB 59 CCC 927) The first day of work not the date of hire.

“A consequential psychiatric injury is compensable if and only if it is more than half attributable to a physical industrial injury.” (Source Lockheed Martin v. WCAB 67 CCC 245, 30 CWCR 65) In order for there to be a psychiatric injury there must be a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. (LC § 3208.3, 139.2(j)(4) )

Compensable Consequences

Compensable consequences may include the following; favoring one body part more due to injury on the other, anxiety and stressed caused due to an injury, liver or heart diseases caused by medications consumed.

AOE / COE
(Arising Out of Employment / Course of Employment)

Employee must prove that there were actual events of employment that caused the injury. Causation is “predominant” based in medical evidence. If injuries resulted from being a victim of direct exposure to a violent employees act you shall be required to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that actual events of employment were a substantial cause of the injury.

Stress of litigation is not compensable. Labor Code § 3202 Liberal Construction – Evidence in favor of injured employee.

A subsequent incident which was proximately caused by an employee’s original injury will be found by the WCAB to arise out of the original injury and thus be compensable as a new and further disability related to the original injury.

Presumptions and Compensable Consequences
(For Police, Fire Fighters, School Teachers and Life Guards)

Labor Code § 4850 “full-salary” leave-f-absence doctrine applicable to “public-safety” employees has established:  Paid-leave of absence for specified public employees, and will prevail over any [action]/enactment of a municipality in conflict with it.

It is to be liberally construed with the purpose of extending benefits for the protection of persons injured in the course of their employment. This statues also encompasses an employee’s entire compensation to include all earning and benefits to which a disabled employee is entitled at time of occupational injury without any deduction, directly nor indirectly, by virtue of remaining an employee in the service of his employer.The world “salary” encompasses “the entire compensation to which the employee is entitled”.

LC 4850 shall be for up to one year or until disability retirement.  It also includes the entire compensation including fringe benefits such as sick leave, vacation time, and holidays.

The law enforcement officers and fire fighters developing hernia, heart trouble and pneumonia is presumed AOE-COE.  Therefore, a compensable injury.

Example:

  • An employee of Dept. of Corrections and who has any duties that are custodial in nature has rebuttable presumption that heart trouble is caused by job.
  • Law enforcement officers and fire fighters exposure to carcinogens – presumption of cancer.
  • Under LC § 3212.5. Hypertension heart disease leading to congestive heart failure and cerebrovascular accident get “heart trouble”.

The nature of these highly stressful occupations relate these diagnosis to a work related injury.

Our Southern California workers compensation attorney’s at Prussak, Welch & Avila are ready to evaluate your case. Call us at (714) 665-0799  or email us now.