What Does the Law Say About Workers’ Compensation Requirements for Agricultural Workers in California?

Agricultural workers face some of the most significant occupational hazards among workers across various industries. Farm workers are exposed to various risks, such as harmful pesticides, heavy machinery, and spending long hours under the hot sun repeating the same motions. All of these actions can result in catastrophic injuries that may leave a worker unable to earn a living.

The law has provisions that allow injured workers to pursue compensation from their employers regardless of the injury they sustain, the number of employees the employer has, or the worker’s immigration status. If you were injured while at work in an agricultural farm, consult skilled personal injury lawyers in Fresno to protect your rights and ensure you obtain a fair settlement.

Employer Requirements

All employers in California must provide worker’s compensation insurance for all workers, including the undocumented ones. The name of the employer’s insurance provider or claims administrator must be posted at the site of employment. Fresno workers’ compensation attorneys add that employers must post information about accessing benefits for employees’ use.

Sadly, not all farm labor companies obtain the required workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer doesn’t have this provision, skilled workers’ compensation attorneys in Fresno can help you seek benefits from other sources, such as the Uninsured Employers Trust Fund.

What Are the Most Common Farm Worker Injuries?

Some of the most common injuries farm workers suffer in the agricultural industry include the following:

  • Heat stroke: Farm workers spend long hours in the heat and sometimes don’t drink enough water to stay hydrated, putting them at risk of heat exhaustion and stroke.
  • Suffocation: Some workers get trapped in grain bins or silos where they’re unable to receive oxygen, leading to suffocation.
  • Machine crushes: An employee could get caught between agricultural machines, sustaining injuries that could be fatal.
  • Sprains and strains: Farmers’ work entails a lot of lifting, bending, and reaching for items. These movements can strain tendons and joints or cause sprains.

Other injuries include broken bones, burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, overuse injuries, respiratory illnesses, and falls. You could be eligible for compensation if you suffer any of these injuries. Consult experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Fresno to help you pursue a settlement.

What Steps Should I Take If I Sustain an Agricultural Injury?

After a farming accident or injury, there are various legal steps you should take to protect your rights. Knowing how to file a claim and start the workers’ compensation process is crucial in enhancing your chances of being successful. Prompt action and proper documentation of what happened are vital aspects of your claim.

The first step is to notify your employer or someone in a position of authority about the accident and your injuries. It would help to record a statement on what you recall about the incident and take photos of the scene to help explain what happened.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?

The law requires an injured employee to notify the employer within 30 days of sustaining a work-related injury or learning about an occupational illness. You have a two-year deadline from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. You must prove that you legitimately worked for the named employer and followed all your health care provider instructions.

Your claim should also show the degree of disability acquired after the injury. Workers’ compensation lawyers in Fresno can guide you to ensure you file the paperwork correctly and within the stipulated deadline. They can also fight to help you get the maximum compensation amount possible as provided for under California law.

What Basic Benefits Am I Entitled to in the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Package?

Workers’ compensation insurance packages cover all job-related illnesses and injuries, such as:

  • Slips and falls
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Physical pain
  • Accidents with farm equipment and vehicles
  • Disabilities

The benefits may extend to medical and emergency treatment, surgeries, hospitalization costs, prescription costs, physical therapy, and costs of medical devices. Depending on the case specifics, Fresno personal injury attorneys can also help you pursue other benefits they determine that you deserve.

What Happens After I File a Compensation Claim?

After notifying your employer of the injuries, they should give you a claim form where you will complete the “employee” section only and send it back to the employer immediately. Ensure you sign and date the form and keep a copy for your records. Failure to return the form to your employer may put you at risk of not receiving the benefits you deserve.

Your employer should then fill out the “employer” section and forward the completed form to the insurance company. They should also send you a copy of the completed form for your records. If not, you could request a copy.

The insurance company has 14 days to issue you with a letter informing you of the status of your claim. If the letter is not forthcoming, you can call the insurance company to find out how your claim is being processed. Fresno workers’ compensation lawyers can provide legal support to expedite the process.

An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Providing Legal Counsel on Agricultural Injury Claims

Getting injured while at work is common, so the law requires employers to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover the losses incurred. Pursuing a claim can sometimes be complex, especially if an employer is not insured or they deny the claim. Working with skilled Fresno workers’ compensation lawyers would help you explore your options.

Tomassian, Pimentel, & Shapazian is a personal injury law firm with top-notch workers’ compensation lawyers in Fresno. We can investigate your agricultural injury claim and guide you through the legal steps to fight for your rights. Call us at 559-545-0383 to schedule an initial case evaluation.