Desert Hot Springs Undocumented Worker Injury Attorney

With more than 30 years of experience, our accomplished attorneys are here to guide you through these difficult times and get the compensation you deserve.

Desert Hot Springs Undocumented Worker Injury Lawyer

In California and the United States, undocumented workers make up a core part of the economy, culture, and spirit. Therefore, all workers have rights and entitlements to certain benefits, regardless of their immigration status. If you are facing a work-related illness or have been injured on the job, then a Desert Hot Springs undocumented worker injury attorney from English Lloyd & Armenta can ensure that your rights are protected and that you are working toward optimal compensation outcomes.

The undocumented worker injury legal team at English Lloyd & Armenta has years of experience helping clients with workplace injury matters, ranging from filing workers’ compensation claims to suing employers in personal injury cases. Whether your workplace injury has resulted in short-term job loss or long-term disability, a work accident attorney from our firm can help you get the financial support you need so you can continue to protect and care for yourself and your family.

What Is Workers’ Compensation? 

Workers’ compensation is a form of payment that workers are entitled to if they get injured or sick on the job. In California, all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees.

Workers’ compensation is no-fault in California, meaning that a worker is entitled to compensation whether they were responsible for the accident that led to their injury or not. If employers do not have proper workers’ compensation insurance, then they can face penalties ranging from hefty fines to jail time.

Can Undocumented Workers Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Desert Hot Springs?

All workers in Desert Hot Springs, California, are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, no matter their immigration status. This workers’ compensation can cover the costs associated with medical expenses for the injury or illness. It can also cover lost wages if you have to miss work due to your injury.

It’s important to note, though, that recovering money for lost wages can be more difficult for undocumented workers. An experienced attorney can help you work out other strategies to receive compensation for lost earnings, such as by securing future lost wages.

Workers’ compensation also involves job retraining benefits for workers who have been disabled or partially disabled in a manner that prevents them from carrying out their prior work. There are certain job retraining benefits that undocumented workers might not be eligible for. A knowledgeable Desert Hot Springs workers’ compensation lawyer can help you work toward getting the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to based on the details of your case.

How Can Undocumented Workers File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is required as part of the process to receive such benefits. To do so, you must contact your employer and ask them for a workers’ compensation claim form. If they will not give you a form, or make it excessively difficult for you to obtain and complete one, you can notify the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and open a case.

While filing a workers’ compensation claim is logistically straightforward, feelings of anxiety around losing your job or being reported to immigration authorities as a result of filing such a claim can be very real. Therefore, it is important to work with compassionate and experienced undocumented worker injury lawyers. They can help you strategize your case in a manner that does not jeopardize your mental health or put you at risk for illegal deportation.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover for Undocumented Workers in CA?

In California, undocumented workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but the expenses that such benefits cover may be limited when compared to their documented counterparts. For example, certain benefits, such as lost wages or retraining expenses, can be harder to access.

The amount and type of workers’ compensation benefits that you will receive depends on the details of your work accident and injury case. Some expenses that are commonly covered by workers’ comp for undocumented workers include:

  • Medications: These can include prescriptions for illnesses or over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen.
  • Medical Assistive Devices: Assistive devices, such as crutches and wheelchairs, can be covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Doctor Visits: Regular clinic or doctor’s office visits to check up on your injury or work-induced condition can be covered as well.
  • Hospital Bills: If you were hospitalized, then the fees can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, even if your stay was only a couple of nights.
  • Rehabilitation Sessions: In cases that involve long-term rehabilitation, such as learning to walk on a formerly broken ankle or knee again, such sessions can be required for short- or long-term periods.
  • Surgery: Some work-related injuries require multiple surgeries, such as those that require inserting and removing hardware.
  • Psychosocial Support: If it can be proven that the worker has suffered a mental illness, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of their work-related accident, then psychiatry and mental health therapy sessions can be covered.

These costs are not a comprehensive list of all the expenses that can be covered by workers’ compensation for undocumented workers in Desert Hot Springs, California. By strategizing optimally and submitting a thorough workers’ compensation claim, undocumented workers can be entitled to disability and medical coverage.

An undocumented worker injury lawyer from our firm can analyze the details of your case. Then, they can help you understand the workers’ comp benefits that you could be entitled to under CA and federal law.

Common Workplace Accidents of Undocumented Workers in Desert Hot Springs, California

Undocumented workers can be at a high risk of workplace injuries or illnesses due to the type of work that they take on. In California, undocumented workers make up almost half of the agricultural sector. They also make up a large portion of workers in other sectors, such as landscaping, food processing, food and restaurant services, and construction.

Many of the industries that undocumented workers are heavily concentrated in involve long working hours, tasks that put high strain on the brain and body, and interactions with heavy or sharp equipment and machinery. Such conditions can lead to the following workplace-related accidents that are commonly seen among undocumented workers:

  • Manual Handling Accidents: Lifting and carrying heavy objects, such as boxes or equipment, can put a high amount of strain on the body. This can immediately result in an injury or lead to a condition that develops over a period of time.
  • Slip and Falls: A slip-and-fall accident can happen when surfaces are slippery or uneven, if there are random objects in the way, or due to other poor working conditions. Slips and falls are common in the restaurant and warehousing industries.
  • Chemical Exposure: Certain industries, such as manufacturing and power plants, have many positions that can result in short- or long-term exposure to toxins or chemicals, along with other harmful substances.
  • Heavy Machinery Accidents: Heavy machinery, such as tractors and cranes, can be complex to operate, and any accidents that involve them can be severe or even fatal.
  • Falls From High Up: The construction and agricultural industries may often require working at certain heights. Falling, slipping, or not being properly tied into equipment can cause workers to fall from these heights, resulting in severe or even fatal injuries.

It’s important to note that there are workplace injuries that do not result from specific accidents, such as conditions that arise from repetitive motion. Certain occupations that involve carrying out the same motions over a long period of time can lead to an injury of the tendons, nerves, and muscles.

A lack of proper training, safety protocol design, and adherence to these can increase the risk and severity of workplace accidents that are commonly experienced by undocumented workers. In California, employers have a moral and legal responsibility to create a safe and inclusive workplace for their employees that mitigates the risk of harm or accidents.

If you are an undocumented immigrant facing dangerous workplace conditions, then it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who can help you fight for a safer and more secure workplace.

California Workplace Injuries That Undocumented Workers Commonly Face 

Undocumented workers typically face a higher risk of getting injured in the workplace due to a variety of factors, including the types of industries that undocumented workers are in and reduced safety training access. The repercussions of such injuries can be worse for undocumented migrants as well, as they may be afraid of reporting the incident or seeking medical assistance. 

Failing to adequately report an incident can lead to a lack of evidence, which can make it more difficult to pursue workers’ compensation claims and other processes that link workers to benefits. Furthermore, delaying or foregoing medical care can result in the worsening of an injury or a slower healing process. Injuries that undocumented workers may commonly face include:

  • Cuts and Lacerations: Workers in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and construction are at a high risk of getting cuts or lacerations. If they are handling certain machinery, sharp tools, or other potentially dangerous objects, then the risk is even greater. If not treated adequately, such injuries can become infected and lead to worse conditions.
  • Sprains: Sprains happen when a ligament, which is a soft material that connects one bone with another, is torn or stretched. Knee, ankle, and wrist sprains can commonly occur in workplaces that require elevated physical activity.
  • Strains: Strains can be an injury of either the tendon or muscle, and they can occur as a result of overusing a body part or repetitive straining motions. Straining the back, hamstrings, and shoulders is common in the agricultural and construction industries.
  • Fractures: Occupations and industries that involve heavy physical labor or interaction with machinery have a greater risk of leading to fractures. Fractures can be serious and require multiple surgeries and/or placement of hardware.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can range from less severe injuries, such as concussions, to more severe brain injuries that can impact long-term motor and cognitive functionality.
  • Hearing Loss: Workers who are involved in industries that have heavy machinery, such as construction and manufacturing, can face hearing loss from repetitive exposure to loud noises over long periods of time.
  • Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke: California’s hot climate can lead to heat-related illnesses, which commonly occur in the state’s hot and dry summers. These can even be life-threatening.
  • Burns: Burn injuries commonly occur in industries that require the handling of fire or hot objects, such as the restaurant and manufacturing industries.

Other common injuries that undocumented workers in California may have to deal with include respiratory illnesses, eye injuries, and electrical shocks. If you are facing a work-related illness, condition or injury, then it is important to know your rights and entitlements as an undocumented worker. An undocumented worker injury attorney from English Lloyd & Armenta can help you work toward getting the compensation you need to cover your work-related injuries.

How Much Time Do I Have to Submit a Workers’ Comp Claim in California?

The time that you have to submit a workers’ compensation claim in California after the date of your workplace accident or incident is known as a statute of limitations. In California, the statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation case is one year. If your workplace-related illness or condition was developed as a result of long-term exposure or an indefinable event, then you have one year to file after the date on which you were diagnosed with the illness or health condition. 

Therefore, if you have experienced a workplace accident that led to injuries, or if you have been diagnosed with a workplace-related illness or condition, then it is critical to get in touch with an undocumented worker injury attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the specifics associated with your case, you may have a longer period of time than one year to file your workers’ compensation claim. 

Health and Safety Rights for Undocumented Immigrants

Under health and safety laws in California and the United States, all workers are entitled to a healthy and safe workplace, regardless of their legal status. Undocumented workers have the right to turn down any work that they consider to be unreasonably unsafe if they are under the impression that it could pose a real danger to themselves or another employee.

If an undocumented worker has complaints about the conditions of their workplace, they can file a complaint with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, otherwise commonly referred to as Cal OSHA. After workers contact Cal OSHA, the agency will launch an investigation to see whether their employers are breaking any of the laws governing occupational health and safety standards.

If Cal OSHA determines that the claim is valid and that an employer was indeed breaking the law, then they can order the employer to cease their illegal operations. Cal OSHA is not able to question workers – documented or undocumented – about their legal status, and if they somehow find out that a worker is undocumented, they are not allowed to report this to other authorities. A compassionate and experienced undocumented worker attorney can help you file a complaint with OSHA if you are concerned that your employer is not following proper health and safety standards.

Rights to Unionize in California for Undocumented Workers

All undocumented workers who do not work for the government can participate in a union under the National Labor Relations Act, or NLRA. In addition to being able to choose and participate in a union, undocumented workers can also organize their own union and collectively bargain with their employers.

Even in the absence of a union, or if one has not yet been formed, the NLRA protects the right of all workers, despite their legal status, to engage in concerted action. Concerted action is considered to be any action taken by two or more coworkers that involves improving the overall working conditions for other workers as well. The employer is to be notified of concerted actions.

If an employer retaliates against an undocumented worker for union activity or lawful collective organizing in the workplace, this is against the law, according to the NLRA. The undocumented worker is entitled to compensation, but such compensation may be limited due to legal status. To file a union action claim, workers can contact the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB. The NLRB is not allowed to question workers about their legal status.

Do I Risk Retaliation for Filing a Complaint as a Desert Hot Springs Undocumented Worker?

All employees, whether they are legally authorized to work or not, can face retaliation from their employers for filing claims or complaints. Undocumented workers typically have to go through a much more thorough decision-making process when they are deciding on labor-related issues, such as whether to submit a workers’ compensation claim, a complaint to OSHA about working conditions, or a complaint to the NLRB about employer retaliation related to union activity. 

Taking any kind of steps as an undocumented worker that may inconvenience, incriminate, or hold your employer liable can lead to the risk of retaliation. If you are an undocumented worker who is facing retaliation due to your lawful work-related activity to hold your employer accountable, then a dedicated undocumented worker attorney can help you file a retaliation claim with an appropriate California or federal agency.

If you are an undocumented worker in California, you may be unsure about whether you are going to file a claim or complaint against your employer due to the potential for retaliation. Because of the possibility of being reported to immigration authorities or facing other fines or charges, many undocumented workers do not go through with workplace complaints or claims.

An understanding and knowledgeable undocumented worker injury lawyer from our firm can help you take all factors into account when going through workplace-related legal processes.

What If My California Employer Reports Me to ICE?

As a form of retaliation, an employer may threaten to report an undocumented worker to ICE or the Department of Homeland Security. Although employers are legally restricted from doing so, ICE still has the authority to follow up on any such reports, potentially placing the worker at risk for deportation or criminal charges, depending on the situation.

ICE can try to deport undocumented workers who have been reported by employees, and they can fine workers and press criminal charges if they use false information or documents to sign up for their job.

After deportation, there is the risk of being completely banned from ever returning to or working in the United States again. Even individuals who are married to a U.S. citizen, have children who are U.S. citizens, or have lived for a long period of time are not protected from such penalties. If you are facing charges due to employer retaliation, then a criminal defense immigration lawyer can help you protect your rights and yield optimal case outcomes.

While these are potential outcomes of employer retaliation in California, it’s critical to note that such actions of employer retaliation are against state law. California protects workers who are being retaliated against for exercising their rights under the California Labor Code, even if they are undocumented. If the court or the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement finds that an employer has broken such laws, then they can have their license revoked or suspended.

Protect Your Rights With a Desert Hot Springs Undocumented Worker Injury Attorney

Being injured in the workplace can be physically difficult, as the healing process can be long, medically complicated, and mentally taxing. While this physical and mental toll cannot be avoided during the healing process, there should never be a financial burden for the worker after a workplace accident, regardless of their legal status.

If you are an undocumented worker who has been injured on the job, an experienced undocumented worker injury attorney from English Lloyd & Armenta can help you work toward getting compensation for your injuries while being sensitive to and minimizing the associated risks and negative legal ramifications that undocumented workers can face. Get in contact with our dedicated legal team today to start working on your case.

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