Worker’s Compensation News for Ontario May 22, 2019
The California State Senate voted 38-0 Senate Bill 731, by Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, would prohibit consideration of race, age, gender, sex or genetic characteristics when apportioning permanent disability to non-industrial factors.
Under current law in Apportionment in California workers‘ compensation, and evaluating physician, like a qualified medical evaluator QME, splits up the causes of an injured worker’s permanent disability. Permanent disability for each injured part of body may be caused by the work injury and pre-existing medical conditions, race, gender, genetics, age, and other factors which take away from injured workers permanent disability awards.
A pre-existing condition can be a:
- non-work-related injury
- non-work-related medical condition
- previous work injury
Apportionment reduces a California injured worker’s permanent work disability. This reduces the cash value of his or her claim in workers compensation awards and settlements.
There is also apportionment when an injured worker has two or more work injuries at the same time. Each injury is given a separate percentage value. This has a lower dollar value than if the injuries are combined. Workers’ compensation must pay for all medical care even if there is apportionment to a pre-existing condition.
This bill would prohibit the use of race, age, gender, sex or genetic characteristics when apportioning permanent disability to nonindustrial factors. This essentially means that your doctor can currently state that 50% of your injury is work-related and 50% of your injury is due to age-related degeneration even though you have no symptoms and were doing your job just fine until you were injured.
If you’ve been injured at work, most likely you will experience some form of apportionment when you’re permanent and stationary evaluation takes place unless you recover from the effects of your work injury with no impairment. If this bill becomes law, your work injury lawyer would be able to address apportionment better in your permanent and stationary report which will result in a much more fair settlement for your permanent partial disability PPD percentage and award..
If you’ve been injured at work, please contact a work injury lawyer near Ontario California at the Law offices of Cleveland & Metz for more information. Consultations are free, email us your questions.