Santa Ana Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Say Legislation May Fail to Meet Needs of Injured Employees

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Attorneys at California Law Associates—a law firm handling workplace injury cases in Santa Ana, Rancho Margarita and Los Angeles—comment on recent changes to California Workers’ Compensation system.

Workers’ Compensation benefits should cover all costs stemming from a work injury,” said Ahmad

Santa Ana Workers Compensation attorneys at California Law Associates say new changes to California Workers’ Compensation laws could have a negative impact on those who were injured on the job and are unable to work due to permanent workplace injuries.

According to an August 31, 2012, article in the San Jose Mercury News, the passage of Senate Bill 863 heralds several significant changes to California's Workers' Compensation system. Passed by the Senate, 34-4, after the Assembly approved the bill with a 68-4 vote, the bill only emerged during the last days of the legislative session.

The bill makes major reforms to the 100-year-old California Workers’ Compensation system , which was established in order to provide medical care and financial compensation to workers who are injured on the job or become ill at work, according to the Mercury News. The new changes will alter how benefits are calculated for injured workers, whether they suffer temporary disability or permanent disability, and creates a binding arbitration process to resolve disputes over Workers’ Compensation benefits in California, according to the Mercury News. It also eliminates coverage for conditions that typically result in Workers’ Compensation lawsuits, including mental health problems and insomnia, the newspaper reports.

Shehzad Ahmad, California Law Associates’ lead attorney, says he is most concerned about those who are disabled due to permanent workplace injuries, fearing the new laws could result in “low-ball” Work Comp settlements or denied Worker’s Compensation benefits. “Workers’ Compensation benefits should cover all costs stemming from a work injury,” said Ahmad, “from medical expenses and long-term physical therapy, to lost wages for being unable to work. These changes to the system mean it could be even harder for permanently injured workers to get all the benefits they deserve, at least without a tough legal fight, which could include a complicated Work Comp benefit hearing.”

The San Jose Mercury article states that some lawmakers worry that the new changes to Workmans’ Compensation law could have unforeseen consequences, which could make life harder for those disabled by a job injury. Several lawmakers refused to vote on the bill, as they only had three weeks to review it. "I can't take a vote on something I can't explain," said Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego."

Anyone who has suffered a workplace injury in Southern California —from a broken back or leg in a construction site accident, toxic fume exposure in a factory, emotional stress at the office or healthcare worker repetitive motion pain—may call 714-542-3377 or visit

About California Law Associates
The tough, dedicated California Law Associates have over 50 years of combined experience serving workplace injury and personal injury victims throughout Santa Ana, Los Angeles and Rancho Santa Margarita. Their areas of legal expertise include workplace injuries, Workers Compensation law, auto accidents, personal injury, premises liability, dog bites and slip and fall accident injuries.
California Law Associates
Los Angeles Law Office
3540 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 615
Los Angeles, CA 90010 22342
Telephone: 714-542-3377

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Paige Gore
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