Insurance Companies Seek to Weaken Cumulative Trauma Injury Claims

Construction Workers

Cumulative trauma injury workers' compensation claims are crucial for employees who have been hurt at work overtime, not within a single instance or accident. Oftentimes, a cumulative trauma injury claim is filed by an employee who was exposed to toxic substances for many years, or who completed the same action again and again, ultimately causing a repetitive stress injury (RSI). The benefits gained through a workers’ compensation claim for a cumulative trauma injury lets those employees pay necessary bills, keep some form of gainful employment without worsening their injuries, and try to enjoy as comfortable a life as possible given their condition or illness.

Despite all the necessary benefits cumulative trauma injury claims provide honest, hard-working employees, cumulative trauma benefits as a whole might soon be weakened. There are rumors within the Congressional world that insurance company lobbyists are planning on pushing for legislation that would reduce the benefits of cumulative trauma injury claims in California, and possibly elsewhere. They may also have the intent to make it more difficult for people to receive those benefits, ultimately saving their companies big money at the expense of people who need help.

Clearly, the weakening of cumulative trauma injury claims and their benefits should not happen. It will hurt workers who need financial support more than ever. Yet beyond that main reason to not dismantle or reduce key parts of the workers’ compensation program are even more reasons why cumulative trauma injury claims need to be maintained as they are, if not further strengthened.

Here are five key points regarding the importance of cumulative trauma injury claims and fair insurance policies:

  • California insurance companies maintain nearly 9% in profits on workers’ compensation premiums, nearly double the average national rate. In short, insurance companies in the state arguably do not need any more income, especially if it means hurting policyholders.
  • Employers in California are already paying less and less for workers’ compensation claims, with a dramatic 17% drop in less than 5 years.
  • The opioid addiction epidemic is the least impactful in California, with the state having the lowest rate of prescriptions for opioid painkillers. Some insurance arguments for weakening cumulative trauma injury claims are based on the notion that they are enabling opioid abuse.
  • Medical provider fee rates in California have recently declined about 2%. The trend may continue.
  • Indemnity benefit payouts increased 13% since 2012, meaning people have been receiving full benefits coverage more often. This is an inclination everyone should want to see carry on.

As steadfast defenders of the rights of the injured American worker, the Law Offices of Wax & Wax and our team of Glendale attorneys have a keen interest in legislation affecting workers’ comp benefits and related regulations.

If you need help filing or appealing a workers’ comp claim of your own, you should feel free to contact us by calling 818.946.0608 and requesting a free case evaluation.

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