What can i do?
3 attorney answers
Your situation involves two completely separate kinds of legal claims, usually handed by different attorneys. You have a workplace injury claim usually handled by workers compensation attorneys and you have wage and hour claims usually handled by employment law attorneys. Your post makes it sound like you have only spoken to workers compensation attorneys to this point.
As you have learned, many workers compensation attorneys are not interested in taking on a case where the normal workers compensation process is not going to be involved. That is because they are experienced and comfortable working within the workers compensation system which involves law and procedures that are completely different from other state law claims handled in superior court. However, there are attorneys who are more than willing to handle claims where there are workplace injuries but there is no workers compensation insurance. You simply have to look longer and harder to find them. It is certainly worth it.
As to the issue related to failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal and rest periods and the like, you need to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
You have employment claims for unpaid overtime, failure to provide wage statements, and misclassification. There may also be a failure to pay minimum wage. You should speak with an employment attorney. Most provide free consultations.
As to your personal injuries, if the employer does not have worker's comp, there is a presumption that your injuries occurred on the job and the employer is responsible. In addition, the employer loses the benefit of the worker's compensation system and you can recover the normal tort remedies, which are much better. You should consult a personal injury attorney, who will likely be much more interested in your case than a worker's comp attorney.
Based on the information above, you may have both a workers' compensation claim and a civil employment claim. Though the workers' compensation attorneys you spoke with have not been able to help, it may be a good idea to consult with an employment attorney regarding the employment issues.
The information you obtain from this answer is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.