Improving Dispute Resolution for California's Injured Workers: Executive Summary
Jan 1, 2003
|PDF file||2.1 MB|
|PDF file||0.1 MB|
|Add to Cart||Paperback760 pages||$125.00||$100.00 20% Web Discount|
For more than two decades, the workers' compensation courts increasingly have been perceived as a weak link in the California workers' compensation system. The courts have been criticized for being slow, expensive, and procedurally inconsistent. In response to these concerns, the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation engaged the RAND Institute for Civil Justice to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the workers' compensation courts in the state. The research team analyzed the causes of delay in the resolution of workers' compensation disputes, the reasons for the high costs of litigation, and why procedures are inconsistent across the state. They found that the courts' problems stem largely from severe understaffing, the failure to upgrade their management information system, and a lack of clear guidance and coordination in the governing rules and procedures. The study team proposes a number of recommendations for change (covering areas such as staffing, technology, judicial training, calendaring, continuance policies, internal office practices, and case management) that are designed to improve the process of dispute resolution for California's injured workers.
Background and Methodology
"...A Feeling of Crisis..."
RAND-ICJ's Approach to Understanding the WCAB Judicial Function
Past History & Current Status of Workers' Compensation Dispute Resolution
Overview of the California Workers Compensation Adjudication Process and Administration
Evolution of the Workers' Compensation Judicial Process in California
The Current Workload of the WCAB
Analysis of Factors Influencing the Speed of Litigation
Judicial Time Expenditures
Judicial Time Expenditures
Staffing and Related Budgetary Issues
Findings and Recommendations
Personnel at DWC Branch offices
Interoffice and Interjudge Variation in Procedures and Decisionmaking
Pretrial Practices at DWC Branch Offices
Review of Attorney's Fee Requests and Proposed Settlements
Trial and Posttrial Procedures
"Customer Satisfaction" and the WCAB Experience
Workers' Compensation Adjudication Management and Policy
Improving "The People's Court"
Complete List of Recommendations
Frequently Used Abbreviations
The research described in this report was prepared for the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation. This research was conducted by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.