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New proposed laws may change workers' compensation

If a person is injured in the workplace, one of the few comforts is the knowledge that support is there when workers need it. Construction workers, emergency responders and others in high-risk careers often say it is not a matter but if, but when, in the case of getting hurt on the job.

Workers' compensation is considered a pillar of labor law, but the details change more often in California than one might think. Employers, insurers and state regulators all make up part of the complicated web of factors that affect the cost and applicability of benefits.

Some observers are concerned that some medical providers are the source of many disputes in the process of case review. A new bill seeks to prevent medical provider networks from altering treatment plans or billing codes, an event which often results in cases being delayed or denied.

Another bill is following a trend developing in the northeastern United States, seeking to create the presumption of injury if a law enforcement or emergency services worker is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress after service. Yet another would apply a presumption of injury to nearly all cases involving these populations.

Any of these laws would change the face of workers' compensation in California if the government in Sacramento approves them. When the time comes to file or refile a claim, the best ally to have in the understanding of these laws and the others that apply is legal representation.

A lawyer can help file claims or fight rejected claims for workers' compensation. An attorney may be an injured worker's best friend.

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