A loophole that was created when California legislators reformed the state's workers' compensation system has, according to some, caused devastating harm to the workers the system is supposed to protect. The reforms were aimed to both improve the care injured workers received while reducing employers' costs. Before the workers' compensation reform, many workers often waited months before they received their necessary medical care.
However, when the system was reformed, a loophole was created that has some workers very upset. This loophole allows insurers and the workers' employers to review claims — this includes claims previously settled — as well as reverse medical decisions that had already been approved. This has resulted in many tragic cases.
One tragic case is that of a 48-year-old man who became paralyzed after a large number of metal bars came crashing down on him. He began receiving workers' compensation benefits, which included 24-hour health care in his home, and it was later ruled that he was totally and permanently disabled. After the reform, his case was reviewed, and his home care was withdrawn. While the man's wife was at work, the man would remain seated in his feces until her return, and he was helpless after falling in an attempt to move from his bed into a wheelchair. Not only did his wife quit her job to care for him, but their daughter dropped out of college in order to support her family.
This tragic case is just one of many pertaining to injured workers that have been affected by workers' compensation reform. When a worker in California is injured on the job, they are often entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits to help defray the costs of medical bills as well as lost pay. The help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney is often enlisted, as he or she is the best source for helping the worker obtain the benefits they deserve.
Source: bakersfield.com, "Close cruel workers??? compensation loophole", William Todd, June 11, 2015