Based in Salinas and San Jose, the workers' compensation attorneys at Amos, Dittrich & Ushana handle injury and disability claims on behalf of California agricultural workers. Especially in Salinas, many commercial farms employ large numbers of immigrant workers. We regularly represent these hardworking laborers, recognizing and appreciating the valuable contribution they make to our local and state economies.
Common Injuries & Illnesses in the Agricultural Industry
Agricultural workers are often subjected to hazardous working conditions and unsafe labor practices. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. Farmers are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure."
Unfortunately, these types of serious injuries and illnesses often require immediate and long term treatment, for example:
- Leg, Knee & Foot Injuries - Leg, knee, and foot injuries can be among the most difficult for an agricultural worker to overcome. Using crutches or a wheelchair can severely limit a person’s mobility, making it difficult to complete, let alone enjoy, everyday activities at work, at home, and in the community. Leg, knee, and foot injuries can also make it very challenging, if not impossible, to return to the one’s pre-injury employment.
- Back Injuries - Back injuries, including disc injuries and spinal fractures, can have devastating effects on your health and overall well-being. Even less serious injuries may require magnetic resonance imaging (an MRI) and numerous doctor visits simply to receive an accurate diagnosis, and in some cases, spinal cord injuries require extensive physical therapy, medical treatments, personal care, and at-home assistance, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Noise Exposure & Hearing Loss - Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to agricultural noises can result in permanent hearing loss, and can also cause psychological effects, such as fatigue, irritability, and communication problems, as well as other physical problems, such as constricted arteries and headaches. Some types of hearing loss cannot be corrected.
- Lung Diseases & Respiratory Problems - Agricultural work often subjects workers to several respiratory hazards. Exposure to nuisance dust, moldy hay, straw, grain, as well as gases, has been linked to excessive coughing and congestion in many farm workers, as well as long-term diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome (ODTS), and Farmer's Lung.
- Skin Diseases & Cancer - Contact dermatitis is a skin disorder that frequently occurs among agricultural workers. Other types of agricultural dermatitis include heat rash, origin infections, and insect and plant irritants. Farm workers may also become more prone to skin cancer from spending long hours in the sun.
Seek Experienced, Compassionate Representation
If you suffer from an injury or ailment as the result of working in the farming industry, you deserve any workers' compensation benefits to which you may be entitled. For more information about injury and disability benefits for agricultural workers, please contact Amos, Dittrich & Ushana for a free initial consultation. Se habla español.