California Workers’ Compensation Law provides for a number of presumptions which apply specifically for Safety and Law Enforcement Positions. In Workers’ Compensation Law, an Injured Worker generally has the burden of proof. The Injured Worker’s burden is to prove that the injury was caused within “reasonable medical probability.” This burden essentially means “more likely than not.” The presumptions afforded to Safety and Law Enforcement officers allow them to gain an evidentiary advantage in proving industrial causation. A presumption, which is un-rebutted, will require a finding of industrial causation. As a result, the injured worker legally will have proved industrial causation and injury. Further, presumptions may also provide an advantage in awarding permanent disability.
There are currently presumptions for Bio-Chemical Exposures, Cancer, Heart, Hernia, Low Back, Meningitis, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Tuberculosis.
If you have sustained an injury to the above-mentioned body parts, there are a number of things that you need to do. First, do not be concerned whether a presumption applies in your case. If the presumption does not apply, it simply means that the medical evaluators and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board will assess causation and disability in accordance with non-presumptive cases. You will have to prove causation in your case based upon “reasonable medical probability.” In other words, you still have a case. Second, you need to check whether the presumption applies to your body part. This depends on your department and your position. There are a number of Labor Code Sections which deal with the presumptions and to whom they are applicable. Some of the sections are: Labor Code Section 3212, 3212.1, 3212.5, 3212.6, 3212.8, 3212.85, 3212.9, 3213, and 3213.2. Third, if you have a presumption or believe you have one, you must be sure that the medical evaluators and WCAB know you are asserting it. In some instances, you may have to prove the presumption is applicable in you case.
If you have any issues concerning presumptions, you should feel free to contact an attorney to assist you on your matter.
With more than 23 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation, is here to assist. If you have any questions concerning your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our offices. Please contact us today concerning any workers’ compensation questions or issues.