California workers' compensation laws are set up to provide benefits to help employees who are injured at work. A work injury is any injury that was caused by your employment, or happened at your place of employment while working.
Workers' compensation law is considered administrative law. It does not take place in a normal courtroom, like the California Superior or Federal courts. However, there are workers' compensation judges and many legal procedures that must be followed within this area of administrative law.
Workers' compensation is supposed to be a "no-fault" system, which means that no one has to prove negligence for an injury to be compensable. If you made a stupid mistake and hurt yourself, you still qualify for the benefits of workers' compensation if you suffer a disability from that stupid mistake.
Because the threshold of proof is lower than a normal personal injury case, the benefits (or money) are also less than a normal personal injury case. The three basic benefits being 1) temporary disability pay, 2) medical treatment, and 3) permanent disability benefits (if any). Any money received is tax-exempt.
The other big difference with workers' compensation law is that it is a no-cost system to the injured worker. There are no filing fees or any out-of-pocket costs that you should pay to bring a claim for benefits.