California has some of the most substantial protection for injured and sick workers, and that includes those who work in the agricultural sector. Regardless of your background or role within an agricultural operation, you should receive fair coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and certain other losses when you suffer a work-related ailment.
However, there are many gray areas when it comes to the employment of agricultural workers, and obtaining your benefits may be more complicated than the process may be in other sectors. A workers’ compensation attorney from KJT Law Group will seek fair benefits for you, and you can remain focused on your recovery.
Unique Challenges to Getting Workers’ Comp for Agricultural Workers
There are many instances where employers in California have workers’ compensation coverage (as required by the California Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)). In these cases, an injured or sick employee can simply notify their employer of their ailment, have their employer file a claim, and receive the benefits they deserve.
Unfortunately, the process is not always as straightforward in the agricultural sector. A workers’ compensation attorney from our firm may find that:
- Your employer has not designated you as an employee: The agricultural industry is notorious for relying on workers who may not have a traditional or documented employee status, though you may not fall into this category. Regardless of your employment status, there are ways to obtain benefits for injuries and illnesses. However, securing benefits can be more difficult when your employment status is murky.
- We need to explore options other than the traditional workers’ compensation claims process: If your employment status is not cut-and-dry, we may have to explore non-traditional options for securing benefits. This is not a problem for our legal team. Again, the process may be more difficult than usual.
- Obtaining the benefits you deserve is a multi-step process: Rather than simply filing a claim and waiting for an insurer’s response, we may need to take several steps to start and finish your claim, like file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
We state these facts only to emphasize that having a lawyer can be a great help. Our team will manage every aspect of your claim, no matter how complex the process may be. You can focus on recovery.
The Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF) May Be a Way to Secure the Compensation You Deserve
Farming and workers’ compensation go hand in hand, as agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries one can occupy. Unfortunately, despite knowing the great risks that farm workers face, some employers do not take measures to protect those workers from the economic and non-economic costs of work injuries and illnesses.
If your employer has not properly categorized you as an employee, or there are other barriers to obtaining compensation through workers’ compensation, we will consider the Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF).
The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) explains that the UEBTF:
- Is an essential resource for workers’ whose employers have illegally failed to provide the workers’ compensation insurance that California law requires them to provide
- Can cover the injuries or illnesses of workers even when their employer has failed to protect them through workers’ compensation insurance
- May require several steps before and after filing a claim, which can make the process more complicated than the traditional workers’ compensation claims process
Our lawyers are familiar with the UEBTF. There is also another fund for California agricultural workers whose employers have failed to honor workers’ compensation laws, called the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF).
Our attorneys will consider every possible avenue to obtaining the compensation you deserve, and our familiarity with these funds will allow us to resolve your claim without delay.
Losses We May Seek Compensation for in Light of Your Agricultural Injury or Illness
While workers’ compensation generally covers medical expenses, lost income, and certain other losses, our interest is getting compensation for all of your damages or losses. As we evaluate your case, we will determine the cost of:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Diminished earning power
- Missed bonus and promotion opportunities
- Medical expenses
- Vocational retraining
- Lost quality of life
If you have suffered any other losses or damages because of a work-related ailment, the team at KJT Law Group will seek fair compensation for them.
Call for a Free Consultation About Seeking Benefits for an Injury or Illness in the Agricultural Sector
Agricultural and occupational injuries are common, as employees in this sector often work long hours in dangerous conditions. Workers’ compensation benefits are the safety net that every employee in California can rely on, but obtaining the benefits you deserve may not be as simple as you would hope.