Workers Compensation for Journalists, Reporters & Photographers
Journalists, reporters, and photographers are at risk of injury while covering news events in California, particularly in situations that involve civil unrest, protests, or crime scenes. Unfortunately, the incidence of on-the-job injuries among journalists is on the rise, with many journalists reporting incidents of assault, harassment, and even gunshot wounds.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 30 journalists were attacked in California in 2020, including physical assaults, arrests, and injuries sustained from crowd control measures used by law enforcement. This represents a significant increase from previous years, highlighting the growing danger faced by journalists in the state.
One recent example of a journalist being injured on the job is the case of Dylan Lyons, a freelance photojournalist who was shot in the leg while covering a story in downtown Los Angeles in March 2021. Lyons was covering a report on the increasing number of hate crimes against Asian Americans when he was caught in the crossfire of a shooting. He underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, but the incident highlights the risks that journalists face while doing their jobs.
Common Journalist, Reporter & Photographer Workers Comp Injuries
Journalists, reporters, and photographers face various types of work-related injuries while covering news stories or events. Here are some of the most common work-related injuries for journalists, along with national statistics and statistics from California:
- Physical Assault: Physical assault is a major concern for journalists, with many being physically attacked while covering stories. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, there were 158 physical assaults on journalists in the United States in 2020. In California, there were 19 documented physical assaults on journalists in 2020, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Repetitive motion injuries are also common among journalists, particularly those who spend long hours working on a computer or holding a camera. These injuries can include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and back pain. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, repetitive motion injuries accounted for 31% of all non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the United States in 2019.
- Mental Health Issues: Journalists may also suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their work. A survey conducted by the International News Safety Institute found that 26% of journalists had experienced PTSD symptoms. In California, a study by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma found that nearly one-third of journalists surveyed had symptoms of PTSD.
These statistics highlight the risks faced by journalists, reporters, and photographers while on the job. It is important for media outlets and employers to provide training and resources to minimize the risk of injury and to support employees who may experience physical or mental health issues as a result of their work.
It is also important for journalists, reporters, and photographers to understand their right to collect workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a work related physical or psychological disability.
Workers Comp for Assaulted California Journalists, Reporters & Photographers
Dylan Lyons – In March 2021, freelance photojournalist Dylan Lyons was shot in the leg while covering a story about the increasing number of hate crimes against Asian Americans in downtown Los Angeles. He was caught in the crossfire of a shooting and underwent surgery to treat his injuries.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez – In June 2020, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, a reporter for Southern California Public Radio, was hit by a rubber bullet fired by police while covering a protest in Long Beach. The incident left him with a bruised and swollen eye, and he had to receive medical attention at a nearby hospital.
Frank Stoltze – In May 2020, KPCC reporter Frank Stoltze was hit by a rubber bullet while covering a protest in downtown Los Angeles. The bullet struck him in the throat, and he had to undergo surgery to remove it. He also suffered injuries to his face and eye, and had to take several weeks off work to recover.
These incidents highlight the dangers faced by journalists in California while covering news events, particularly in situations involving civil unrest or protests. While many media outlets take steps to ensure the safety of their reporters and photographers, there is always a risk of injury or harm when covering such events.
As such, it is important for journalists, reporters, and photographers to understand their right to collect workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a physical or psychological disability after being assaulted while working.
Workers Comp Benefits for Journalists, Reporters & Photographers
It is important to note that journalists, reporters, and photographers who are injured on the job in California are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits. However, journalists face unique challenges when it comes to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, particularly in cases where the injury occurred while covering a story outside of their normal place of work.
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, journalists who have been injured on the job may also be able to pursue legal action against the individuals or entities responsible for their injuries. This can include claims for damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, the process of applying for and receiving workers’ compensation benefits can be complex, and there are many factors to consider. Here are some reasons why it is important for journalists, reporters, and photographers who have been injured on the job to discuss their benefit eligibility with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney:
#1. Workers’ compensation laws can be complicated, and it may not be clear whether a particular injury or illness is covered. An experienced workers compensation attorney can review the facts of the case and determine whether the journalist, reporter, and photographer is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
#2. Workers’ compensation benefits can include medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits, among others. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help injured journalists, reporters, and photographers maximize the benefits they are entitled to under the law.
#3. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a complex process. There are deadlines to meet, paperwork to file, documents and records to collect and submit, and medical evaluations to undergo. An experienced workers compensation attorney can help navigate the claims process and ensure that all necessary steps are taken.
#4. In many cases, a journalist’s, reporter’s, or photographer’s workers’ compensation claim may be denied. An experienced workers compensation attorney can help injured journalists, reporters, and photographers appeal a denied claim and fight for the benefits to which they are entitled.
Workers Compensation Attorneys for Journalists & Photographers
Our specialized and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can provide valuable assistance to journalists, reporters, and photographers who have been injured on the job.
Our workers compensation attorneys help injured workers navigate the complex process of applying for and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, ensuring that they receive the maximum benefits available under the law, for which they qualify.
Journalist, Reporter & Photographer Workers Compensation Attorneys: 800-964-8047