workers’ compensation statistics

Workers’ compensation is a growing area of law in the state of California. The state has recently compiled a list of up-to-date statistics regarding workers’ compensation claims and the system as a whole.

If you have been injured at work, it is a good idea to contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to help you navigate the complicated workers’ compensation laws to help you through the process of your workers’ compensation claim. The experienced attorneys at Kneisler and Schondel are ready to help you with your case. Give our office a call today to get started with a free consultation.

Workers’ Compensation Statistics for 2018

Below is a list of workers’ compensation statistics for this year, 2018:

  • California has the highest employer cost for workers’ compensation premiums in the country. This is partially due to the high cost of the medical “utilization review” system the insurance industry instituted in 1999
  • The average medical service transactions per workers’ compensation claim has continued to increase; however, the number of medical service transactions per claim has decreased about 21% since 2012. The reason for the decline is likely related to more treatment denials as a result of the medical utilization review system
  • In total, medical costs paid per workers’ compensation claim decreased by 16% since 2012.
  • The frequency of workers’ compensation claims has actually declined by over 80% over the last 50 years. This is thought to be because of a general shift in economic activity from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy, along with greater focus on workplace safety
  • Workers’ compensation claims are closing at a higher rate than in previous years.

Laws Affecting Workers’ Compensation

A new law that went into effect in January of 2018 that has begun affecting workers’ compensation claims is the Drug Formulary in California Workers’ Compensation bill – AB 1124. This bill exempts some pharmaceuticals from prospective utilization reviews. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) has estimated that this will impact the industry by exempting 15% of drug costs and 30% of prescriptions from prospective utilization reviews, which has the anticipated result of saving .5% of total costs or about 100 million dollars annually. This law just went into effect on January 1, 2018, so the exact data regarding the impact this new law has had on California workers’ compensation is not yet available.

Senate Bill 1086, signed into law this past year, extends the time period for commencing workers’ compensation proceedings for death benefit collection from 240 weeks from the date of the injury to no later than 420 weeks from the date of the injury, though not to exceed one year after the date of death. However, this applies only to peace officers and active firefighting members.

Assembly Bill 2705, also signed into law this past year, requires that licensed contractors have a valid and current Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance or a Certification of Self-Insurance on file with the Contractors’ State License Board. Failure to do so will now be a misdemeanor violation that must be prosecuted within a period of two years.

Is the Workplace Getting Safer?

When you consider the available data over the last fifty years on workers’ compensation, it does seem to indicate that the workplace, in general, is getting safer.

  • From 1991 to 2009, indemnity claims have significantly decreased in frequency. In 1991, there was an average of 49.6 indemnity claims per every 1,000 employees. This statistic has steadily decreased over the years, with just 15.1 indemnity claims for every 1,000 employees in both 2016 and 2017. It is projected that for 2018 there will be just 14.9 indemnity claims in California per every 1,000 employees, representing a continued decline in workers’ compensation claims.

For any workers’ compensation questions that you still have, be sure to contact the California law firm of Kneisler and Schondel. Our attorneys are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.