On December 2nd, 2015, a terrorist opened fire on office workers at the San Bernardino
County Department of Public Health, killing 14 and seriously injuring
22 others. A year later, many of those survivors are caught in a frustrating
battle with the county’s and the state’s
workers’ compensation programs.
Some survivors have not received all of the treatments recommended by their
doctors. Others began treatments only to have them canceled early. More
still need new treatments as their conditions worsen or change but have
no clue if they will be provided the care or not.
A representative of the county stated that San Bernardino workers’
compensation was planning on hiring a group of liaisons that would work
specifically with the victims of the terrorist attack. He went on to say
that the county would like to give the victims the coverage for medical
treatments beyond the minimum requirements of the law. But the truth of
the statements will only be known if and when the treatments are approved.
Why are Treatments Being Delayed or Denied?
California is just one of many states that recently reformed workers’
compensation laws to put less accountability onto employers and, ultimately,
save them money. The effects of some of those changes might be represented
here in the ongoing San Bernardino terrorist shooting attack. In particular,
rehabilitative therapy covered by workers’ compensation was noticeably
reduced, and this is the exact type of treatment the survivors need most.
The system can also feel convoluted as a patient’s medical needs
are reviewed by numerous firms and doctors. In some cases, the decision
to provide a patient with care or not can trade hands more than three-times
before the final conclusion is met. All the while, the patient has to
try to manage on their own or consider paying for alternative options,
assuming those options don’t invalidate their workers’ compensation claim.
(For more information about this ongoing story,
The Seattle Times published an interesting article recently, which can be read
Trusted Legal Assistance for Injured Workers in California
At Thomas F. Martin, PLC, we have been representing clients throughout
Southern California who have been injured while on-the-job for more than
25 years. When workers have a problem with the state or county’s
complicated workers’ compensation system, they know that they can
come to our law firm for the knowledgeable and compassionate counsel they
deserve and require to achieve a successful conclusion. Get to know more
about our Santa Ana and Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer
714.594.5389, or you can tell us about your case using a