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Workers' Compensation Law

The workers' compensation system has undergone massive changes since I began practicing in 1974, and it continues to change almost day to day, as we wait for judicial decisions on key issues arising from the 2004 legislation and appointment changes in the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC).

To learn more about the history of workers' compensation law in California, click here. For the history of workers' compensation since ancient times, click here and then here.

As the former editor of getMedLegal Magazine and current publisher and editor of, I get to publish rants on what I think is wrong with the system. To understand the disconnect between the California Constitution's provision for "A complete system of workers' compensation includes adequate provisions for the comfort, health and safety and general welfare of any and all workers and those dependent upon them for support to the extent of relieving from the consequences of any injury or death incurred or sustained by workers in the course of their employment, irrespective of the fault of any party" and the mess we have today, read this.

Do you wonder how the money your employer pays for workers' compensation insurance is paid out? According to this press release, more than a third goes for "Insurer Expenses." How much of the comp dollar actually goes to the injured worker, either as payments or medical treatment? Look at the pie chart on page 2 of the press release.

Some of the benefits workers' compensation provides:

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