Alabama’s workers’ compensation laws offer victims legal remedies if they’ve been injured in a workplace accident. Individuals who’ve sustained injuries while working might be qualified to receive economic benefits for their medical expenses and lost income as financial support.
Alabama workers’ compensation laws are complicated, and injured victims who are interested in pursuing a personal injury claim will most likely face several challenges. If you have sustained injuries while on the job, you might have grounds to file a personal injury suit or a third-party claim.
When you work with a Huntsville workers’ compensation attorney from Mama Justice, you will be confident that you are in good hands. Our workers’ comp lawyers have decades of experience representing victims injured in workplace accidents. Our team is well-versed in legal strategies should a personal injury case or a third-party claim be appropriate for your situation.
Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential case review with one of our Huntsville work injury attorneys.
People who work desk jobs are not exposed to the same potential hazards as highway construction workers. Some industries and places of work naturally put their employees at a higher risk of being injured. Some examples of these more dangerous jobs include:
Anyone who was hurt at their place of employment may be able to claim workers’ compensation. The best resource you have at your disposal when you claim your settlement is a reputable workers’ compensation attorney. While you recover from your injuries, your attorney can handle the compensation process.
Employers who have at least five part-time or full-time employees are required to carry insurance to cover any workers injured in on-the-job accidents or workers who have been diagnosed with an occupational illness.
Those who employ farm laborers, domestic workers, day laborers, and other workers outside of an employer’s usual business practices are exempt, although they can choose to acquire it. Additionally, cities with a population of at least 2,000 can choose whether or not they want to have this coverage.
In Alabama, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. It provides a solution to workers who were injured while working inside the scope of their job duties without proving their employer was liable. In exchange for eliminating the burden of proof, the employee is instead restricted in the benefits they can collect.
For instance, pain and suffering, mental distress, and emotional anguish are not obtainable through workers’ comp. However, workers may only recover the cost of medical care directly related to their accident and two-thirds of their average weekly income while out of work.
The Alabama Workers Compensation Act clearly outlines the filing process for workers' compensation claims within the state.
Some basic things victims need to know about workers' comp in Alabama include:
If someone else’s negligence was the cause of your injury, a separate personal injury claim might need to be filed along with your workers’ comp claim, especially with benefits being so limited. However, personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims have different requirements.
To learn if you have a personal injury claim, a workers’ comp claim, or both, speak with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. We offer a free review of your potential claim so you can learn more about your legal options without adding to your financial worries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines a workplace injury as an event that, in the course of work, causes mental or physical occupational injury. OSHA uses the following examples as valid workplace injuries:
There are also unique criteria for work-related injuries that involve being stuck with a needle, hearing loss, acute injuries (pokes and stabs), and tuberculosis.
The injuries people sustain at work are as innumerable as the jobs that cause them. Workers’ compensation is intended to cover any injury you sustain at your place of work, but the details of the specific injury may vary. Some of the more common job-related injuries that require employers to pay compensation are:
Even if the events surrounding your unique injury are not listed, you could still be entitled to collect workers’ comp benefits. Reach out to a Huntsville workplace injury lawyer to determine if you are eligible.
If you were hurt at work and your employer is obligated to carry insurance, you might be eligible to receive monetary benefits. To do so, victims must meet the following qualifications:
You might not be eligible for workers’ comp benefits in some situations. For example, you will not be eligible if willful misconduct on your part played a role in your accident and subsequent injuries. Your claim could also be rejected if you ignored workplace rules or refused to take appropriate safety precautions.
You must notify your employer of your accident by telling a manager or supervisor of the incident within five days of your injury. It is essential to report as many details of your accident as possible.
Most businesses have their own internal policies regarding these notifications, so make sure you follow any protocols put in place by your employer. After you have notified the appropriate person of your injuries, you must file a First Report of Injury with the state’s Department of Labor.
The next part of filing a workman’s comp claim in Alabama is to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At Mama Justice, we help you fill out any necessary forms and supply supporting documentation such as medical records that describe your injuries and their impact on your physical abilities.
If you are entitled to collect benefits, they will fall into one of three categories:
Medical Benefits: Workers’ comp is designed to cover the expense of the medical care required to treat your injuries. Medical benefits include the cost of surgery, outpatient treatments, physical therapy, medical equipment, prescription medications, transportation to and from any appointments, and other expenses related to medical care for your injury.
Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company can decide where you receive your medical treatment. Typically, you will be provided with a list of pre-selected medical groups or doctors. If you seek treatment from an unauthorized physician, you run the risk of being unable to collect any reimbursement.
Additionally, workers’ comp does not offer any compensation for experimental treatments or procedures considered unnecessary. Still, you are entitled to ask for an independent medical examination to establish what is and isn’t reasonably necessary and to get a second opinion from a board of physicians.
So, if the insurance carrier is threatening to deny your claim by saying the care or treatment you are receiving is experimental or excessive, call the law offices of Mama Justice right away.
Compensatory Benefits: When your injuries cause you to miss work, workers’ comp regulations entitle you to recoup part of your lost income. This is known as indemnity benefits. The specific dollar amount hinges on multiple factors, but the calculation is rooted in your average weekly wages for the previous year.
In our state, compensatory benefits for these cases are figured by averaging your weekly earnings for the 52 weeks that preceded your injury and multiplying that total by 66.66%. Provided that the total falls between the state’s maximum and minimum amount under the law, you will be able to collect weekly financial compensation.
You may be entitled to several other benefits depending on the severity of your injuries, such as temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent total disability, and permanent partial disability. Each of these categories has its own set of restrictions and rules that could be relevant depending on the specifics of your case.
Death Benefits: If you or a family member was killed in a job site accident, your dependents could be eligible to collect death benefits. The precise amount depends on how many dependents the victim had. For up to 500 weeks, victims’ families are entitled to 50%, with only one dependent, or 66.66%, for two or more dependents, of the decedent's average weekly wages. If the victim has no dependents, the personal representative of their estate is entitled to $6,500 in death benefits.
Filing a workers’ comp claim for benefits is your only recourse for being injured in a workplace accident. You will not be able to pursue damages in a civil suit, and you will not be able to collect any economic recovery for your pain and suffering. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. It is possible to file a claim of personal injury if:
Third-party claims frequently occur in many industries, most notably construction, when a vendor, business partner, contractor, or other unrelated party causes an accident.
When you file a civil suit, you are not limited to medical expenses and compensatory benefits, meaning if you can show that the other person’s maliciousness, recklessness, or negligence caused your injuries, you can recoup damages such as:
Workers’ compensation claims and third-party personal injury claims have one thing in common. You have to take action no more than two years from the day of your injury by filing either a third-party compensation claim or a workers’ compensation claim in court. Should you fail to file within the allotted time frame, your case will be dismissed by the court and you will be prohibited from pursuing financial compensation for your workplace accident injuries.
According to state personal injury and workers ' comp laws, if you were injured in a job site accident, the clock is already ticking. At the law firm of mama Justice, our team will review your case and tell you what legal options are available to you. Contact our Huntsville workers’ compensation attorneys at (844) 239-3403 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.