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If you or somebody you love has sustained a San Francisco workplace injury, then you should be entitled to compensation through the California workers’ compensation system. However, there are times when workers’ compensation insurance carriers and employers put up roadblocks that delay or deny valid work injury claims. At Allegiance Law, our San Francisco workers’ compensation lawyers want to discuss the categories of work injuries that are covered under California compensation laws. We firmly believe that workers deserve to be treated fairly when they are injured in the workplace.


Once it is determined that you were injured on the job, it will be decided what type of injury you have suffered. An injury does not need to be the result of a sudden accident such as a fall. Injuries that result due to repeated physical motions while performing your job are also covered by workers’ compensation.

Types of injuries are defined in California Labor Code §3208.1: “An injury may be either:

(a) “specific,” occurring as the result of one incident or exposure which causes disability or need for medical treatment; or (b) “cumulative,” occurring as repetitive mentally or physically traumatic activities extending over a period of time, the combined effect of which causes any disability or need for medical treatment.


  • Specific Injury – A specific injury is an injury that has a definite time and place of occurrence. Examples of a specific injury are if you fell off a ladder while on the job and broke your leg or if you lifted a heavy box while on the job and sprained your back. These occurrences have established a specific time and place attached to the event that caused you damage.
  • Cumulative Trauma – These injuries are also known as “repetitive” injuries. Injuries that occur over a period of time and are due to repetitive action or exposure are cumulative injuries. Some common cumulative injuries are repetitive use of a keyboard, which leads to carpal tunnel syndrome, constant exposure to chemicals or toxins resulting in respiratory issues, or continuous heavy lifting of objects that leads to back problems.
    As this type of injury happens gradually over time, it can be tricky to determine the date the injury occurred. California Labor Code Section 5412 states that “The date of injury in cases of occupational diseases or cumulative injuries is that date upon which the employee first suffered disability therefrom and either knew or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, that such disability was caused by his present or prior employment.”
  • Psychiatric or emotional – A worker may have a claim against their employer for suffering mental or emotional injuries due to working in a stressful environment. However, pursuant to California Labor Code Section 3208.3, there are certainly complex and lengthy criteria that the employee must meet for this type of injury to be compensable.
    Additionally, an employee may be able to claim a mental or emotional injury as a result of the physical injuries suffered at the workplace. An example of this is that an employee has begun to suffer severe depression due to his or her inability to work after breaking a leg on the job. The employee cannot sleep or eat due to the depression that has stemmed from physical injury. While such a claim can be made, it is important to note that, with some limited exceptions, such psychiatric or emotional injuries are not compensable for injuries sustained in 2013 or later.

Is there compensation available for your work injury claim?

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a workplace injury in San Francisco, there may be various types of compensation available for your claim. The total amount of compensation available for a California work injury will vary depending on the specific factors related to each particular incident. In general, compensation amounts are guided by the total medical costs a person incurs as well as how much income they lose while they are recovering from their injury.

However, more serious injuries could result in a San Francisco worker becoming disabled. When this occurs, the worker will be rated on a disability scale, and their disability benefits will be adjusted accordingly.

When working to secure the correct amount of compensation for a work injury, the skilled San Francisco workers’ compensation attorneys at Allegiance Law will conduct a complete investigation into your case and ensure that you are being treated fairly.

Our attorneys will be by your side for every step of your case. Beginning with your initial filing for workers’ compensation, we will make sure that your employer or workers’ compensation insurer take your claim seriously. Is your claim is denied, we will help you appeal the denial. Importantly, if you are disabled due to your workplace injury, we will make sure that your disability rating is appropriate for your level of injury so that you receive the proper permanent compensation you deserve.

Contact our San Francisco work injury attorneys for free consultation of your case

If you believe you have suffered a specific injury, cumulative injury, or psychiatric or emotional injury, it is important to speak to our knowledgeable and skilled workers’ compensation attorneys, as they will help you determine the type of injury you have suffered and which benefits are available to you.

Please contact us today for a FREE 30-minute consultation. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are available to meet with you during business hours, evenings, and weekends. Allegiance Law is located in San Francisco, but we will be happy to drive and meet you. You may contact Allegiance Law, at 415-404-6395. Or you may contact us by filling out the client inquiry form on this page.