Workers sustain on-the-job injuries every day in the United States. In fact, there were 3.1 million nonfatal workplace injuries and 4,547 fatal workplace injuries reported in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When an employee sustains an injury at work, he or she may be entitled to compensation under state or federal workers compensation laws. It can be very confusing trying to understand your legal rights and determining what paperwork needs to be filed with what agency or whether it is necessary to file a lawsuit against your employer. An experienced Los Angeles employment attorney can evaluate your case and help you obtain the full compensation to which you are entitled for your work-related injury or illness.
Federal Employment Laws
Federal laws protecting injured and sick workers include:
- Federal Employees Compensation Act, which applies to non-military, federal employees and postal workers
- Longshore and Harbor Workers Act, which applies to maritime workers who are not crewmembers on a vessel
- Jones Act, which applies to seamen injured due to employer negligence
- Federal Employment Liability Act, which applies to railroad workers injured due to employer negligence
- Black Lung Benefits Act, which applies to miners suffering from pneumoconiosis, or “black lung” disease
Some of these laws require that you file a lawsuit against your employer in order to obtain compensation. A qualified Los Angeles employment lawyer understands federal employment laws and can protect your rights if you have a claim under any of the above legislative acts.
California Workers Compensation Laws
California has a comprehensive workers compensation program. Employers in California are required to have workers compensation insurance even if they only have one employee. When an employee experiences an on-the-job injury or illness, regardless of whose fault it is, this insurance provides:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- Death benefits
Employees should report work-related injuries and illnesses to their employers immediately, because there may be time limits for filing a workers compensation claim. Furthermore, if an employer was illegally uninsured at the time of an employee’s injury, the worker may be entitled to payments from the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund. Workers must apply to receive benefits from this fund, which can be a complicated process.
If you fell ill or became injured while doing your job, contact a Los Angeles employment attorney today to learn about your legal rights under state and federal workers compensation laws. You may be entitled to compensation, and an employment attorney can help you obtain it.