Why Hispanic Workers May Face More Challenges with Workers’ Compensation in Boston

Many Hispanic individuals in the Boston area work in the field of construction. This is not dissimilar to other areas around the country. In fact, statistics show that as many as 25 to 33 percent of all construction workers in the U.S. are of Hispanic origin. Boston workers’ comp lawyer John J. Sheehan explores the challenges that Hispanic workers may face during the workers’ compensation claim process.

Statistics Show that Hispanic Workers Suffer Injuries at Disproportionately High Rates

Unfortunately, not only is construction a relatively-dangerous occupation but Hispanic construction workers, in particular, may be especially at risk for suffering on-the-job injuries. Our Boston construction accident lawyers cite these facts:

  • Construction workers in general experience work-related injuries and fatalities at higher rates than workers in other occupations. Almost one in four construction workers will experience an injury that requires them to miss time from work during their lifetime.
  • According to a study reported by U.S. News, Hispanic workers account for as many as 13 percent of all work-related fatalities – a higher percentage than white and African American workers.
  • This same study found that the average age of death for Hispanic workers in America was just 35.
  • Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of Hispanic workers suffering fatal on-the-job injuries has increased while the overall number of job-related deaths has declined.
  • Nearly three quarters of all deaths among Hispanic construction workers are suffered by first-generation immigrants.

These statistics paint a grim picture of the state of safety measures designed to protect Hispanic workers. But, why do Hispanic workers experience serious and fatal injuries at such disproportionate rates?

While there is no clear answer, researchers commonly point to a number of potential culprits. One being the simple fact that Hispanic workers often accept the hardest and most labor-intensive jobs meaning that these workers face an increased level of risk – and as a result an increased level of injuries. However, when workers have difficulty understanding English and their employers do not provide Spanish translations of safety policies and training, these workers are much more likely to suffer injuries in avoidable accidents.

Language Barriers Can Harm Claims for Compensation

In addition to creating additional safety risks, language barriers can also present challenges when Hispanic workers need to seek financial compensation for job-related injuries. If employers do not provide safety trainings and policies in Spanish, they are unlikely to provide workers’ compensation information and reporting forms in Spanish as well. However, even setting documentation aside, workers who are not able to effectively communicate what happened to cause their injuries will typically struggle to obtain the full benefits they deserve.

What’s more, these challenges extend beyond filing for workers’ compensation. In construction site accidents in particular, many times there are parties besides the worker’s employer that are responsible for jobsite injuries. In these cases, workers may be entitled to file personal injury claims in addition to seeking workers’ compensation. But, if they cannot find a Spanish-speaking advocate to help them, they may end up paying their own medical bills and suffering the consequences of their injuries without just compensation.

Contact Boston Personal Injury Attorney John J. Sheehan | Se Habla Español

John J. Sheehan is a Boston personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping members of the Hispanic community win the compensation they deserve. He has decades of experience, and has personally recovered millions of dollars for injured construction workers throughout Massachusetts. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today to make sure that you have the best chance to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.

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