2019 California Workers Comp Statistics
Workers comp was instituted in 1913, and was the first type of social insurance to develop widely in the United States. The purpose of workers comp is to give cash benefits and medical care to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, and benefits to beneficiaries of employees if the illness or injury resulted in death.
Cantrell Green, an Orange County law firm specializing in workers comp, realizes the benefit of studying statistics and trends in order to better serve their clients.
Although California’s workers comp system is undoubtedly one of the highest in the nation in terms of overall cost, California’s rating organization recently reported that it now ranks just behind New York. According recent studies, California’s decline is due to legislative reforms that have netted annual savings of nearly $3 billion.
Workers Comp Pharmacy Payments Down
Prescription drug payments fell by 75 percent in the last five years. This is due to several reforms that have recently been enacted, including:
- the institution of Independent medical review (IMR)
- pushing for nonsurgical options for spinal issues
- efforts to curb fraud
- drug protocols designed to reduce opioid use.
Workers Comp Premiums Down
Workers comp premium rates have declined over the last three years, and estimates indicate that the rates may drop an additional 8 percent in 2019, from $17 billion in 2018 to $15.78 billion in 2019.
Even though California remains a very high cost state in terms of workers comp, the average charged rate per $100 of payroll has actually decreased by one-third since 2015.
Workers Comp Cumulative Trauma Claims are Up
Workers comp claims may not necessarily arise out of a specific event. Cumulative trauma, an injury that is caused by a series of repetitive movements, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or the like, are higher in California than in other states. In fact, cumulative trauma claims account for approximately 18 percent of the total number of claims in California, a number that is far greater than in other states.
This is due at least in part to California’s stringent regulations for employers, which tend to open the door to a higher percentage of cumulative trauma cases than other states. Other states require a higher causation standard (more proof) than the 1 percent required in California. Additionally, California makes no specific cut-off date for continuous trauma claims. The law states that the claim date of the injury arises when the employee initially suffered disability, and became aware that the disability was caused by his or her present or prior employment.
Workers Comp Permanent Disability Claims Up 250%
There has been a sharp increase in permanent disability claims in the past year. While the increase in 2018 was only 6 percent, reports indicate that California’s numbers are more than 250 percent higher than the national median.
The increase may be an indication of a shift in severity patterns. The higher costs in California are a result of a higher proportion of permanent disability claims and high wage levels.
Orange County Workers Comp Lawyers
Our experienced workers comp lawyers stay on top of the trends in California workers compensation law, and are available to assist you if you have been injured or have become ill as a result of your employment. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation to see what benefits may be available to you.
An experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you identify minor issues before they become major problems – and make sure that you not only receive your benefits now, but for years to come.
Your consultation with our workers’ comp lawyers is 100% confidential, and neither your employer nor your insurance company will be notified that you requested a consultation with us. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ comp benefits for which you qualify.
Call our Orange County Workers Comp lawyers for a FREE CONSULTATION: 800-964-8047