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Are Farmers and Agricultural Workers Eligible for Workers’ Comp in California?

picking carrots from farmYes, as every employer in California is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have just one employee. This is something unique about California compared to many other states, who do not require workers’ compensation benefits to be provided to agricultural workers.

However, obtaining benefits as a farmer or agricultural worker is not necessarily as simple as it should be, even if you have a strong case.

Our firm discusses workers’ comp for farmers and agricultural workers. If you have any questions about the information discussed below or other aspects of the workers’ compensation process, our Fresno workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you. Schedule a free consultation today. 

Challenges of Obtaining Benefits

Even though employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, many do not. What do you do if you suffer an on-the-job injury and your employer lacks coverage?

Fortunately, California has the Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF) that provides benefits to workers. When a claim is paid out from the UEBTF, the Division of Workers’ Compensation goes after the employer for reimbursement of the benefits that are paid out. For example, the division may file a lien against the business’s property.

Undocumented workers, who make up a large percentage of workers in the agricultural industry, are also eligible for workers’ compensation (compensation for medical treatment and permanent disability) in California. Unfortunately, these workers may not know the law or fear retaliation for reporting an injury. They may end up just suffering through an injury instead of filing a claim.

Undocumented workers can also settle their claims via Compromise and Release or Stipulated Findings and Award.

If your employer does not have coverage, or you are struggling to obtain benefits, contact Berry, Smith & Bartell today for a free consultation. We are ready to assist you if you have a valid case.

Dangers of Working in the Agricultural Industry

Farming and agricultural work is one of the most dangerous industries in the nation. Workers are at risk for many serious injuries and even death. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 416 farmers and farm workers died because of work-related injuries in 2017 alone.

Some of the most common injuries that occur in this industry include:

  • Heat stroke – Farm workers often spend long hours in the heat and do not have time to drink enough water to stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very real risks for these workers.
  • Suffocation – If workers become trapped in grain bins or silos, they may not receive oxygen and could suffocate.
  • Crushed between injuries – Getting caught in agricultural machinery could cause death or serious injury.
  • Sprains and strains – Farmers do a lot of bending, lifting and reaching and this can put a lot of strain on joints and tendons. Sprains and strains can cause a lot of pain.

Call Berry, Smith & Bartell Today for Assistance

We know how important workers’ compensation benefits are when you are unable to work to support yourself and your family. We also know how difficult it can be to get the benefits you need after a significant injury.

Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and a proven track record of success in obtaining benefits for our clients. There are no upfront fees or any fees while we work on your case. We are only paid if we are successful.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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