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San Diego Workers Compensation Appeals Board: What to Expect


The San Diego Workers Compensation Appeals Board is where workers' compensation cases are handled in California. Don't be fooled by the name. It says "Appeals" but it is really a trial court. Only you don't get a jury. A Workers' Compensation Judge decides whether you receive workers compensation benefits and how much.



San Diego
Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
7575 Metropolitan Road, Suite 202
San Diego, CA 92108-4424



The WCAB is on the 2nd Floor and there are double doors, right off the elevator. When you come in you will see a lot of seats to your right. It looks sort of like a DMV office. You will need to walk to your right to a sign in table. If you have a San Diego Workers' Compensation Lawyer you need to sign in and then wait for your San Diego Workers' Compensation Attorney.

If you don't have a lawyer then you need to go down the hall to your right in order to find the Judge that is Hearing your case. At this point you will need to communicate with the the Workers' Compensation Defense Attorney. See more on that below.


A Workers' Compensation Pre-Hearing (for example a Mandatory Settlement Conference) is usually a bunch of lawyers who line up and talk to the Judge. You need to have all your evidence ready at the Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC).

A Workers' Compensation Trial in California (and San Diego) has less pomp and pageantry than you might have seen in Superior Court in California. It's usually a basic small windowless room. There is usually a small "bench" (often times a desk) and some tables for the attorneys. With a row of seats along the back wall. Welcome to the San Diego Workers Compensation Appeals Board. Also known as the San Diego WCAB.


A vast majority of the cases are settled. There are certainly benefits to both sides to settling. However, many times cases just can't be settled and are taken to trial. Which is subject to Motions for Reconsideration and Appeals. Some cases can drag on for years and years. Which is one of the benefits of settling. That is, money today as opposed to a seemingly endless delay after delay for a final adjudication. Your Attorney's job is to get your case in as good a position as possible in order to obtain either the best settlement or the best result at trial.


You must always treat the other defense lawyer and the Judge with respect. You must be polite. And always tell the truth. Answer questions with direct responses. Don't give evasive responses. Generally you should be as brief as possible, while still telling the truth.

When you come into court asking for money, your credibility is always at issue. Workers' Compensation insurance companies will usually know the answer to the questions they are asking you. If you don't tell the truth you are playing right into their hands.

Always admit to prior injuries or accidents. Insurance companies have all this information in data banks. You aren't going to sneak an old injury by them. And when you try, and get caught, you will lose your case.


William Turley
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