The Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal Gazette centered an October 13 story on a worker who was working on a construction project in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Sixteen stories above the ground, a mold tipped over injuring the worker. Even though he had difficulty getting up, he was given lighter work to do the very next day. The worker couldn’t afford an MRI and didn’t have his own insurance. He took pain pills (naproxen) but worried that he might be taking too many. When he complained, the company had him sign some papers. He thought the papers were just about the dosage. He later discovered that he had signed a statement that the injury was not work related. Because of that statement, he could not get workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation only pays benefits when the injuries happen at work. The worker continues to have to take the pain medication and has spent about $1,000 for medical bills. The company denies that there was any misunderstanding.
Unfortunately, the article also mentioned that many undocumented workers don’t pursue workers’ compensation claims because they fear that there will be problems if they file, so they suffer in silence. Many immigrants can’t read, don’t understand safety warnings, and have difficulty communicating with their superiors. The article further says that the death rate for job accidents per 100,000 workers is 3.2 for all groups but 3.8 for Latinos.
Because of these issues, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other nonprofits are trying to find ways to help undocumented workers.
The fact is that even if you are an illegal immigrant, you still have a claim. In North Carolina especially, if you get hurt on the job, even if you are in this country illegally, you are still entitled to compensation just like an American Citizen.
Companies cannot hire illegal immigrant workers and then ‘kick them to the curb’ just because they were hurt on the job through no fault of their own.
You are entitled to this protection!
Attorney Joe Miller works to make sure all injured workers properly file their claim. He’ll explain which benefits apply to your case including medical bills and lost wages. He’ll take the time to answer your questions and will fight when he thinks someone is taking advantage of you. Workers’ compensation doesn’t require a showing of fault, but there are many issues that can complicate your claim so get help from an experienced lawyer by calling Joe Miller Law, Ltd., at (888) 694-1671 today.