The New York Times
The Washington Post
USA Today
San Jose Mercury News
CBS This Morning

Research Institute Examines California’s Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill

GavelOn August 1, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a landmark reform into law that has brought sweeping change to California’s workers’ compensation system. Under Senate Bill 863, numerous changes have been implemented to California’s workers’ compensation system, in particular increased benefits to injured workers and cost-saving efficiencies.

Senate Bill 863 was the culmination of significant discussions between representatives of labor unions and employers. During the negotiations the parties were guided by two main principles: (1) that permanent disability benefits paid to injured workers to compensate them for the lasting effects of work-related injuries were too low and had to be increased; and (2) that the expense associated with providing healthcare treatment and benefits to hurt workers and administering workers’ compensation claims had risen significantly. With this understanding, the parties drafted—and the governor enacted—a bill that brought numerous changes including:

  • Changes in permanent disability;
  • Changes to supplemental job displacement vouchers;
  • Introduction of independent medical review;
  • Improving medical provider networks;
  • Introduction of independent bill review;
  • Changes regarding liens;
  • Changes for qualified and agreed medical evaluators; and
  • Changes for self-insured employers.
Benefits of Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill

The various provisions of Senate Bill 863 became effective on January 1, 2013. And since then, the bill has had several important effects on workers’ compensation in California. The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute recently published its 15th edition of the CompScope’ Benchmarks, which tracks various provisions of Senate Bill 863 since it went into effect.

The study found that for claims with 12 months of experience, medical payments for each claim decreased by five percent in 2013. Furthermore, the percentage of claims with weekly permanent partial disability benefit payments decreased significantly. The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute believes that this may indicate behavior changes under the new law. In addition, the study compared the performance of the California workers’ compensation system with 10 other states. The results show that claims with seven days of lost time in 2013 decreased by five percent. Conversely, compared with many other states, the study found that these states experienced growth in this measure for claims.

According to the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, these results may suggest that the reform planned for with Senate Bill 863 is having the intended effect on California’s workers’ compensation system.

Workplace Injury Attorneys for Third Party Claims

If you have been injured at work and have questions regarding your ability to claim compensation for your injuries, the work injury lawyers at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. can advise you on your legal rights. There may be other negligent parties responsible for your injury that can result in third party claims. Our skilled San Jose work injury attorneys can help you understand your rights under California laws and how to take advantage of the provided protections.

Client Reviews
I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
Best Law Firms
American Board of Trial Advocates
2010 Street Fighter of The Year Award Finalists
Irish Legal 100
The Best Lawyers in America
Santa Clara County Bar
Super Lawyers
The National Trial Lawyers
California Lawyer
Top One
Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association
Public Justice Trial Lawyer of The Year