The lawyer told me, “I can only see the cases where I’m the attorney of record.”
The hearing rep told me, “I don’t have access to EAMS.”
Wrong and wrong.
It’s a Government Database
EAMS is a PUBLIC database of filed California Worker Compensation cases. Anyone can log in to https://eams.dwc.ca.gov/WebEnhancement/ to see case information. You might only need the Applicant’s name at the initial search screen. Often, though, you need another piece of data, such as the Applicant’s date of birth, to distinguish among people with the same name. The system shows where the Applicant resides, so that might help you sort through Applicants with common names.
The site requires users to identify themselves (though there does not seem to be any way to verify the i.d.) and choose from a list of reasons for making the request. I always choose Case Information Search, but you get the same information regardless of which reason you choose.
The next screen shows you the employer, the Date of Injury including if it was cumulative, and the case location. You can then click through to see the next hearing date, the claimed body parts, and the parties of record including lien claimants. Clicking again on “View Events” will show you what has been filed and on what date, including stipulations and Compromise & Release documents.
How EAMS Research Helps
Workers Compensation professionals may want to check on other claims by the same Applicant for a number of reasons. Right at claim intake, attorneys may want to confirm whether the Applicant has prior (or later) filings, the claimed body part, and the case status. Perhaps you want to see if there were prior attorneys on the file, or just make sure you are aware of all the players. There is no reason to be unaware of apportionment issues when this data is publicly available. Once you realize the extent of information available, you will want to research the public EAMS database regularly.