About the first thing Arnold Schwarzenegger did after becoming governor of California was ram through workers compensation “reform.” Well, someone is definitely getting compensated, but it’s sure not the injured worker.
Profits for workers compensation insurers in California are way up while payments to injured workers are among the lowest in the nation. In fact, for a number of disabilities, California benefits are the absolute lowest in the country.
These charts, (intro page, insurer’s profits, low payments) are based on “Analysis of WorkersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Compensation Laws” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They detail just how out of balance workers comp is in California. For example, as of 2004, insurer’s profit now greatly exceeds benefits paid to workers.
(Full disclosure. I am webmaster for the site linked to, The Law Offices of Robert S. Havens. He’s a friend and workers comp lawyer for the injured worker.)