CATASTROPHIC INJURIES: THE WILSON CASE

On 5/10/19, the WCAB wrote the Wilson v. State of California Fire decision describing what the worker needs to prove in order to get a psych disability add on to an industrial orthopedic injury under L.C. Section 4060.1(c).

Prior to the enactment of 4060.1(c) in 2013 workers were able to obtain increased benefits if their orthopedic injury caused psych problems such as anxiety and/or depression.  After 2013, the only way a worker could get the psych add on to his permanent disability was to show that his orthopedic injury was “catastrophic”.  Until the Wilson decisions, there was no set definition as to what was needed in order for an injury to qualify as catastrophic.

Labor Code Section 4060.1(c) notes that catastrophic injuries include loss of limb, paralysis, severe burns or severe head injury.  The Wilson decision now tells us how to determine if an injury will be accepted as catastrophic by the WCAB.

The WCAB held that the determination will be factual.  The Judge should look at: (1) the intensity and seriousness of medical treatment rendered; (2) The ultimate outcome once the worker’s condition stabilizes; (3) The impact the injury has on the employee’s activities of daily living [ADL’s]; (4) how close to the examples provided above the injury is; and, (5) whether the injury is incurable or progressive.

If you have any questions about catastrophic injuries, feel free to e-mail me at JACK@SDWORKCOMPATTORNEY.COM or call me at 619.338.9012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s