NOTE: Free essay sample provided on this page should be used for references or sample purposes only. The sample essay is available to anyone, so any direct quoting without mentioning the source will be considered plagiarism by schools, colleges and universities that use plagiarism detection software. To get a completely brand-new, plagiarism-free essay, please use our essay writing service.
One click instant price quote
However, the system's delays make workers wait to get medical treatment and benefits, some for months. Some workers, depending on the seriousness of their injury, receive as little as $ 39 a week. In 1993, the main goal of the new legislation was to reduce costs for employers and raise the benefits for workers. So far, costs have fallen 34 % for employers, and they save up to $ 3 billion a year (Morton).
However, benefits for workers are the lowest in the United States, and ranks California 45 th for benefits for workers with permanent injuries. "We have to remember that the purpose of the system is to benefit... the injured worker, " said Tom Rankin, President of the California Labor Federation. One of the biggest issues faced when the new legislation was passed was workers' comp fraud. People were faking injuries to receive benefits, and these cases happened too often.
Now, fraud is not considered as much of a problem. Fines for workers' comp fraud can reach up to $ 50, 000 and jail time up to 5 years. (CWCI) Employers still think that fraud is a problem. But insurance companies say that fraud is involved in less than 1 % of filed cases. "No one trusts anyone in this system, " said Gregory Van, an employer representative for the State Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation. One out of every five injured workers in the system fights for an average of three years (Morton). The amount of time it takes increases every year. This has risen around 23 % since 1992.
Workers with more serious or permanent injuries end up in a slow process. "Workers' Comp is a total nightmare, " said Bruce Label, who waited nearly 3 years before he received a settlement for a back injury. Insurers have 90 days to decide if a claim is legitimate or not. Some companies are even trying to raise this to 6 months, which would delay even more. In 1995 a study was conducted by the insurance industry.
It found that some companies delayed accepting 43 % of permanent injury claims (Morton). Advocates for workers think that the insurance companies use delays to force cheap settlements on the workers. In the case of Ray Blankenship, a worker for CalTrans, he ended up committing suicide because he was tired of waiting for a settlement. He went through 3 years of suffering after and injury that caused back, neck, and leg pain. He was earning up to $ 3600 a month, but under workers' comp laws he was only entitled to a little over $ 1300 a month.
He estimated that he would lose between $ 200, 000 and $ 218, 000 by not being able to work until the age of 65. He was sent to several doctors and waited more than a year to reach a conclusion. Doctors told him that he was 91 % disabled. The law says that 50 % and over is considered permanently disabled. The State offered Blankenship $ 40, 000 for his injury. The next month, he killed himself.
The burden on the families of workers is a lot more than anyone would imagine. Ray Blankenship's wife was entitled to death benefits of up to $ 95, 000. She was offered $ 49, 000; and she took it. "Economic duress is one of the biggest tools insurance companies use to make the worker settle, " said worker attorney William Ferchland. Delays are worse since new laws in 1993 made the process more complex. Employers now have the right to challenge claims adjusters if the claim is not completely examined (Morton). Doctors say that long and difficult process can seriously affect the worker's recovery. "Many of the workers I see are extremely upset.
They feel anger and helplessness, " said Dr. Allen Gruber. The system also affects the doctors: doctors are afraid to treat patients because they think that they won't get paid. So, the worker indirectly suffers because the doctors aren't getting paid. In fact, the problem got so bad that the California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgery asked the State Division of Workers' Compensation to intervene (Morton). So, who is to blame for the ineffectiveness of the system?
Insurance companies are blaming the state Division of Workers' Compensation. They say that the Workers' Comp board takes too long to judge disputes and to rate the percentage of disabilities. But the state is not the only thing to blame. Insurers are blaming the system itself-it's too complex for anyone to understand. Bibliography: 1) Christopher A. Ball.
Take Charge of Your Workers' Compensation Claim: An A to Z Guide for Injured Employees in California. Nolo Press; 2001. 2) David Morton. Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability: Getting & Keeping Your Benefits. Nolo Press; 2002. 3) Jack B. Hood. Workers' Compensation and Employee Protection Laws.
West Wadsworth; 1999. 4) Keith R. Wertz, James J. Bryant. Managing Workers' Compensation: A Guide to Injury Reduction and Effective Claim Management.
Lewis Publishers, Inc. ; 2000 5) Workers' Compensation Laws of California 2003 Edition. Matthew Bender & Company; 2002. 6) Patricia Munch Dayton, Scott Harrington. Rate Regulation of Worker's Compensation Insurance: How Price Controls Increase Costs. AEI Press; 1998.
Free research essays on topics related to: workers' compensation, one of the biggest, workers', insurance companies, 3 years
Research essay sample on One Of The Biggest Workers Compensation