Recently, the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) ruled in favor of an employee in the case of Ifonia Gelin, Applicant v. Bear Flag Marketing Corporation, and Pegasus, Administered by Corvel Corporation. The Board determined that California workers’ comp laws do not require authentication of the documents provided by the parties unless there is a genuine dispute regarding authenticity. In this article, our Fresno workers’ comp lawyer provides a more in-depth overview of the decision from the WCAB.
Case Review: Ifonia Gelin, Applicant v. Bear Flag Marketing Corporation, and Pegasus, Administered by Corvel Corporation
Background and Facts
The applicant in this case was employed by the respondent as a caregiver. In 2014, she sustained serious head, neck, back, and shoulder injuries while on the job. She filed for workers’ compensation benefits and a dispute eventually arose over the matter. The employee was awarded workers’ comp benefits. Notably, the outcome of the workers’ comp centered around whether more weight should have been given to the applicant (worker) testimony or the counter-exhibits produced by the defendant (employer).
The Legal Issue
A workers’ compensation judge (WCJ) agreed that the applicant was entitled to workers’ comp benefits. However, the WCJ also determined that the documents presented by the parties in the case should have been formally authenticated. A procedural question was raised over when authentication documents are required in a California workers’ comp claim.
On review, the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) determined that formal authentication of documents provided in workers’ comp cases is not required as a matter of law. Instead, an authentication of the documents is only necessary in cases where there is a genuine dispute over whether or not the document in question is a forgery or has been altered.
If you were injured on the job in Fresno County, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp benefits in California are paid on a no-fault basis—meaning you are not required to prove that your employer was negligent or in violation of a workplace safety regulation to get your benefits. That being said, injured workers can run into delays, disputes, and denials in the workers’ comp claim process for many different reasons. You can put yourself in the best position to get your full and proper benefits by getting organized. Make sure you have all of the relevant documents, records, and information to provide to your attorney.
Joseph C. Yrulegui is a professional workers’ comp lawyer. With committed client service, Attorney Yrulegui has the professional experience that you can count on in a complex case. If you want more information about the workers’ comp claims process, we can help. Contact us today to arrange your initial consultation. Joseph C. Yrulegui provides workers’ comp defense representation in Fresno, the San Joaquin Valley, and throughout the surrounding area in Central California.