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'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further

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'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further

'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further

'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/390930229/390930953" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Joel Ramirez climbs back into his wheelchair with the help of Francisco Guardado, a home health aide, at his home in Rialto, Calif. Ramirez was paralyzed from the waist down in 2009 when a 900-pound crate fell on him at a warehouse. Changes to California workers' compensation laws have impacted his quality of care. Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica hide caption

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Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica

Joel Ramirez climbs back into his wheelchair with the help of Francisco Guardado, a home health aide, at his home in Rialto, Calif. Ramirez was paralyzed from the waist down in 2009 when a 900-pound crate fell on him at a warehouse. Changes to California workers' compensation laws have impacted his quality of care.

Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica
NPR and ProPublica

This story was reported in partnership between NPR News Investigation's Howard Berkes and Michael Grabell of ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization.

For more on this report:

* View a photo essay of Joel Ramirez's battle against California's workers' compensation system.

* Look up workers' compensation reforms in your state.

* See each state's average premium costs to employers.

Workers injured on the job are supposed to get guaranteed medical care and money to live on. Employers and their insurance companies pay for that.

And in return, employers don't get sued for workplace accidents. But this "grand bargain," as it's called, in workers' compensation, seems to be unraveling.

NPR and ProPublica report on the changes to workers' compensation laws and how that's putting more of the costs back onto the families and government.