Were you injured at work?
If you are injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
These benefits are designed to help you pay for medical treatment for work-related injuries and cover lost wages. An injured employee is eligible to receive benefits regardless of who caused the workplace accident.
After you suffer a work-related injury, it is vitally important that you take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention.
- Report your injury immediately by giving a written notice to your supervisor or someone in a supervisory position within five days.
- Ask your supervisor or employer to provide a doctor to treat your work-related injury.
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If you fail to report your injuries to your employer in a timely fashion, it may affect your right to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer is not obligated to pay for your injury-related medical treatment or a portion of your wages until you give notice of your accident and get referred to an authorized doctor.
You should also consider hiring an experienced Alabama workers’ compensation lawyer to fight for your interests and guide you through the workers’ compensation claim process. You will deal with insurance adjusters who work for insurance companies that try to pay the lowest amount possible. Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier has an economic interest in denying your Alabama workers’ compensation claim. You need someone to cut through the red tape and recover the workers’ compensation benefits you need right away. We help injured workers receive the benefits to which they are entitled for their work injuries. Contact the experienced Alabama workers’ compensation attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C.
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Handle A Broad Range of Claims
- Back Injuries
- Knee Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Hearing Loss
- Head Injuries
- Pulmonary Conditions
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Repetitive Trauma Injuries
- Occupational Disease (asbestosis & dermatitis)
- On-Duty Vehicle Accidents
- Toxic Exposure
- Work-Induced Heart Attack or Stroke
- Loss of Use of Limbs
- Eye Injuries
- Wrongful Discharge
Recover From Your Work Injuries While We Handle Your Claim Dispute
While you recover from your work-related injury, our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will conduct an evaluation of your Alabama workers’ compensation claim. Each case must be handled based on its own facts. In most cases, we will perform a full investigation of the accident scene, interview any witnesses, and take pictures of the equipment or vehicles involved. We can also advise you as to how returning to work, or receiving pension benefits or unemployment compensation, may impact your Alabama workers’ compensation claim.
It is not uncommon for an injured worker to be uncertain how to proceed if the employer disputes a claim for medical coverage after a workplace accident. You should talk with a Huntsville work injury lawyer who handles workers’ compensation claims if you believe that you have an on-the-job injury or disease, and your employer or the insurer that administers the program has denied your claim or is dealing with you unfairly. Let us explain the process and discuss your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Keep in mind that insurers have an economic incentive to pay out as little as possible in benefits. Having a knowledgeable attorney advocating on your behalf in a disputed claim shows that you are serious about collecting your rightful workers’ comp benefits.
The Importance of Prompt Notification and Following the Doctor’s Orders
Generally, any business in Alabama other than agricultural operations that has five or more employees, whether full-time or part-time employees, is required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance.
Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Law entitles an employee who is injured on the job or develops an occupational disease to lifetime medical benefits related to your work injury. The treatment must be medically necessary and, except in cases of emergency, an authorized doctor must provide the care for it to be covered.
Your employer will notify you of the authorized doctor to see for treatment. If you are dissatisfied with the doctor who initially treats you, you can request a change of doctors. Your employer must provide a panel of four other doctors from which to choose. It is important that you submit to an examination by a doctor authorized by your employer, follow the doctor’s treatment plan as directed and attend follow-up physical rehabilitation as prescribed.
Your employer is responsible for paying for medical bills related to your work-related injury. A medical provider cannot bill you separately for authorized treatment for a workplace injury. But if you refuse to comply with the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor, you may be told that your right to compensation has been suspended. Workers who sustain an injury on the job because they are intoxicated, under the influence of illegal drugs or other willful conduct may forfeit their right to workers’ compensation benefits. If you refuse to cooperate with a drug or alcohol screening test, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Available to Injured Employees in Alabama?
The benefits available under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act fall into three broad categories:
- Medical Benefits—cover the cost of all necessary medical care and rehabilitation related to a work injury or occupational illness, including vocational rehabilitation to restore a worker to gainful employment;
- Compensatory Benefits — provide compensation for lost wages due to missed work and permanent disability related to a work injury. These benefits are based on a percentage of your Average Weekly Wage (“AWW”);
- Death Benefits — paid to the dependents of a worker who dies within three years of a work-related accident, including funeral expenses and ongoing benefits for up to 500 weeks or until remarriage. Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Law provides a schedule for payment of death benefits to dependents who were wholly or partially dependent on the deceased worker.
Compensatory benefits include four types of payments to address different job injury situations:
- Temporary Total Benefits —Injured employees in Alabama who are totally disabled for a temporary period of time from a work accident may receive up to two-thirds of their regular weekly earnings;
- Temporary Partial Benefits —Injured workers who cannot do their regular job but can still perform some less strenuous work may be eligible for payments to make up a portion of the worker’s loss of income as a result of the injury.
- Permanent Partial Benefits—Injured employees who are left with a permanent disability are entitled to benefits based on the severity of the injury.
- Permanent Total Benefits—An injured employee may receive ongoing benefits if he or she has a serious permanent disability and cannot work. The benefit is equal to two-thirds of weekly earnings. In many cases, a lump sum settlement may be reached for past or future benefits.
Will My Recovery Be Limited to Workers’ Compensation?
Even if your injury is covered by the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, we may be able to recover compensation for your lost wages, injuries, pain and suffering, and medical expenses if the party responsible for your injury is someone other than your employer.
You generally cannot sue your own employer after an on-the-job accident. But another company or a subcontractor working on the same site may be liable for the accident as a third-party. For example, a subcontractor working on the same construction site or job site may have created unsafe conditions that caused an accident. If defective machinery or equipment caused your injury at a workplace, the manufacturer of the machinery may be liable for your injury. You may have a right to seek compensation from an outside party that was liable for your injuries in addition to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
Your employer cannot wrongfully terminate your employment because you made a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If you, as an injured worker, were fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, then you may have a claim for retaliatory discharge under Alabama law. In that case, you would be entitled to full tort damages, rather than strictly workers’ compensation benefits.
If you received workers’ compensation benefits and then collect compensation for your injuries through a third-party lawsuit, the employer may seek repayment for the medical and vocational retraining expenses spent for your treatment. This is known as subrogation.
We Have Years of Experience Dealing With Insurance Companies
Within days of your work-related accident, a lawyer representing your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will normally offer a quick settlement before you know how serious your injuries are. This lawyer’s chief concern is limiting the amount of money that the insurance company pays out.
When an insurance company presents a settlement offer, it is in your best interest to discuss the situation with a lawyer. Contact the Alabama workers’ compensation lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. We are familiar with the many tactics that insurance companies use to get you to settle quickly and for less compensation than you deserve.
Our personal injury law firm has years of experience dealing with insurance companies and handling Alabama workers’ compensation claims. Our Alabama workers’ compensation lawyers want to make sure that you are completely compensated for all financial losses that you may have assumed from the job-related accident, such as medical bills and any lost income from the injuries that you suffered.
We will identify all possible sources of compensation for your injuries and contact the appropriate insurance companies on your behalf. While our insurance claim dispute attorneys usually try to negotiate a fair settlement before filing a lawsuit, we will not hesitate to go to trial if necessary to stand up for your rights. Our Alabama workers’ compensation lawyers will aggressively pursue a just resolution to your case.