Deciding whether a person suffered a catastrophic injury depends on a host of factors including the gravity of the worker’s condition, and not just the circumstances of the industrial accident itself, the WCAB said in the en banc decision Kris Wilson v. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The WCAB’s decision said it is up to judges to decide whether an injury is catastrophic based on the facts of the case. The board listed factors that “the trier of fact may consider in determining whether an injury may be deemed catastrophic,” that include:
The intensity and seriousness of treatment received by the employee that was reasonably required to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury.
The ultimate outcome when the employee’s physical injury is permanent and stationary.
The severity of the physical injury and its impact on the employee’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).
Whether the physical injury is closely analogous to one of the injuries specified in the statute: loss of a limb, paralysis, severe burn or severe head injury.
Whether the physical injury is an incurable and progressive disease.
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Hefley Law, APC