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California Court of Appeals Clarifies “Sudden and Extraordinary” Exception for Psychiatric Injuries

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on July 3, 2012 | In Psychiatric Injury Claims

The California Court of Appeals recently clarified the “sudden and extraordinary” exception for workers’ compensation for psychiatric injuries. The ruling makes it more difficult, but not impossible, for workers to get compensation for psychiatric injuries when they haven’t been on the job for very long.

Currently, California’s workers’ compensation law provides coverage for physical injuries starting on day one of employment. However, there is a six-month wait for coverage for psychiatric injuries. The exception to this rule is if a worker’s psychiatric injuries are caused by a “sudden and extraordinary” event; in these situations, the worker can get coverage for psychiatric injuries even if he or she has been on the job for less than six months.

The Court of Appeals considered what an “extraordinary” situation involves. It ruled that in order for a situation to be “extraordinary,” it must be the kind of event “that would naturally be expected to cause psychic disturbances even in a diligent and honest employee.” Gas main explosions and violent events in the workplace were listed as two possible examples of “extraordinary” events. The Court of Appeals also held that it is up to the injured worker to prove an event was “sudden and extraordinary.”

California workers’ compensation exists to protect workers who suffer an injury while on the job. If you’ve suffered an on the job injury, a knowledgeable southern California workers’ compensation attorney at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office can help you get the full benefits to which you are entitled. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (800) 438-7734.

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