California Workers Compensation Law

California State Flag

California Workers Comp Quick Facts

The following represent the state of the law as of January 1, 2006. Please note that worker's compensation law can be complex and these laws and policies are subject to amendment at any time. If you need help with a worker's compensation issue, please consult a licensed attorney.

Is Worker's Compensation Compulsory? Yes

Are Waivers Permitted? No

Numerical Exceptions: None.

Choice of Physician: Employer makes the initial selection of physician. After a period of time specified by state law, the employee has free choice. Unless the employer or the employer's insurer has established a "medical provider network", employer has initial selection of physician and employee can change to physician of own choosing after 30 days. An employee who has notified his or her employer in writing prior to injury that they have a personal physician, and whose providers provide nonoccupational health care coverage, has the right to be treated by his or her personal physician after job-related injury. By statute, a maximum of seven percent of all employees statewide may so predesignate. The right to be treated by one's personal physician at the outset of injury also applies if the employer has failed to post notice of workers' compensation rights as required. If an employer or insurer has established a medical provider network, then under most conditions the employer controls the initial selection of physician and all care must be provided within the network for the life of the claim.

Waiting Period For Comp Benefits After Injury: 3 days (temporary total disability only.)

Compensation is retroactive if disability continues for what period of time from the date of injury? 14 days (also retro- active if person is hospitalized)

Attorney Fees Permitted: Individual case basis; however an attorney cannot collect a fee for representation.


Injured Worker Forums

We offer a very popular injured worker forum, which includes a section specifically for injured California workers. Share your experiences with other injured workers, and get their suggestions for improving your medical, personal and spiritual wellbeing.

Injured Worker Stories

Hundreds of injured workers have shared with us their experiences with the worker's compensation system. Visit the collection of injured worker stories, including those by injured California workers. Learn from workers who have been through this before you.

Injured Worker Links

We offer an extensive collection of workers compensation links to valuable online resources. Visit our links organized by state, by topic, and links to resources for California injured workers.

Injured Worker Articles

Visit our growing collection of worker's compensation articles, offering political advocacy and practical suggestions for those trying to find their way through the worker's compensation system.

California Workers Compensation • Help For Injured Workers

Workers Comp Help