Construction accidents are quite common in California. Additionally, construction sites involve working from heights, electricity, and heavy machinery and equipment. Therefore, construction accidents can be serious and come with expensive recovery costs.
The discovery that you are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance can be frightening. It might sound like a lost course on compensation matters, but it doesn’t have to be. Pasadena personal injury attorneys can tell you what to do and how to safeguard your rights as an injured construction worker in California.
Will I Get Compensation if My California Employer Has no Workers Comp Insurance?
If the company you work for doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, you can still get similar benefits directly from the company. You can only file a civil lawsuit against your employer if you can prove that they had no workers’ comp insurance while you were their employee.
Note that not having workers’ insurance is a criminal offense in California. And in the civil lawsuit, you’ll be alleging that the employer is at fault for your injuries. Apart from the penalties they will pay for the violation of the law, they could be obliged to cater to your damages.
Must My Employer Pay My Compensation All at Once?
An employer might decide to pay you in a lump sum or in installments. If you agree on payments that spread over several years or months, you are allowed to reopen the claim if your health condition worsens in the next five years.
With lumpsum payments, on the other hand, the claim cannot be reopened once the benefits are paid. Therefore, injured employees should ensure that they calculate the damages well to ensure that they claim the right amount. Experienced Pasadena construction accident attorneys can ensure that you claim and accept sufficient compensation.
What If I Lose My Job for Pursuing Compensation in Pasadena?
Employees sometimes encounter backlash from their employers after trying to obtain compensation after a construction accident. However, they are not allowed to threaten to fire you or actually fire you as retaliation.
If you are treated unfairly on these grounds, you might be entitled to:
- Back pay from the time you were fired
- An additional benefit of $10,000
Speak to a construction accident lawyer in Pasadena, CA, if you fall victim to such unfair practices in California. They can make sure that the employer compensates you fully.
What Happens When I’m Unable to Do My Usual Work?
First, an employer cannot decide on the kind of work you can or cannot do post-injury. Only a physician that examines the extent of your injuries can advise on your working abilities. For instance, they can release you to do moderate or light work.
Your employer could be violating the law if they go against the doctor’s recommendations. And if they don’t have the type of work recommended by the doctor, they ought to put you on temporary disability benefits. Pasadena construction accident attorneys can ensure that you get everything you are entitled to in California.
Does Lighter Duties Equal to Lesser Payments?
Employees are required to perform duties assigned by employers, provided it is in line with the doctor’s recommendations. It could be modified duties or alternative positions. If you can work full-time in that position, the employer might not be obliged to pay temporary disability benefits. However, you will still be eligible for the other benefits.
Temporary partial disability benefits are only available if you can work part-time due to sustained injuries. Refusal to perform alternative or lighter duties might be a bad idea because you might not be entitled to disability benefits for lost wages.
What if My Employer is Unable to Give Alternative Work?
Some employers might not have modified duties to offer the injured employee. This happens when the work available is not:
- Commutable from where you live
- Available for at least a year
- Offering at least 85% of your previous salary
The employer will have to sustain you on temporary disability benefits in such instances. And if it is established that you cannot return to construction work, your employer might have to give you supplemental job displacement benefits.
These benefits normally come in the form of a voucher worth $6,000 that you can use for:
- Placement and resume services
- Licensing and examination fees
- Placement-related items such as computer equipment
- Job training
What if My Employer is Unable to Pay for My Workplace Injuries?
Injured employees don’t have to worry if the employer cannot pay damages for their construction accident injuries. You could be paid by the California Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund. The payment is never automatic, and you have to fight for it.
You can begin by finding out if your employer had workers’ compensation coverage in the last five years. A Pasadena personal injury lawyer can also help you find out if they were self-insured. After that, you could gather the following information:
- A list of possible witnesses for your injuries
- Proof of employment, such as W-2 forms and pay stubs
- Medical bills and receipts for doctors’ visits and prescriptions you have paid for
- Medical reports documenting the construction injury
The process might be technical, but an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Pasadena can help you navigate the process. Despite your employer’s limitations, you can still get compensated in California.
Legal Representatives Fighting for workers in California
If you are not determined enough, you might give up fighting for compensation in Pasadena. Fighting for your rights when your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance can be complicated. It needs the experience and guidance of a seasoned injury lawyer to hack it and receive a deserving compensation.
Knowing what to do makes the fight more predictable and brings certainty to the process. Our attorneys can tell you what to expect and prepare you for what is to come. A victory is achievable if we represent you in the right avenue. Speak to us today for help with workers’ compensation.