Employers in the state of Alabama are required to participate in the insurance compensation system designed to ensure that their employees have proper access to the care and compensation they need following an accident. To ensure that you have an advocate fighting to protect your rights, contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately after the injury occurs. Here at Moore Law Firm, we offer free consultation to potential clients so they understand the law and their rights under it.
What Is Worker’s Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical care coverage to employees injured in the course of employment. The tradeoff is that the worker gives up the right to sue his or her employer for negligence. Under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, the injured party does not have to prove that anyone was specifically at-fault or that his or her employer was negligent.
What Benefits Does A Worker Receive When Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?
Benefits can include lost wages, medical care expenses for any necessary rehabilitation, and possibly a disability payout. If you lost a family member on the job, you may be entitled to death benefits.
Lost wages aren’t due to an injured worker until they are released to return back to work, which is known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). While the worker is off of work, they are entitled to receive 66 2/3 percent of their normal regular hour wages. This means if you normally make $600 a week, the employer will pay you $400 a week until you reach MMI.
Medical care benefits usually include hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, surgery, and any specialized medical equipment needed to treat your injury. Unfortunately, the way the Alabama law is written, you must go to a doctor approved by your employer. However, you are entitled to a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing or one selected by your employer, also known as a panel of four.
Disability payouts are explained in the last section of this page.
What Are An Employer’s Responsibilities Under Workers’ Compensation Laws?
Employers must carry worker’s compensation insurance in the state of Alabama if they employ five or more employees. Employers who don’t carry this type of insurance are subject to fines, criminal prosecution, personal liability for the compensation, and a lawsuit. Employers are required to post notice of compliance with the laws at each job site, provide immediate medical treatment for employees injured on the job, and furnish further medical attention if it’s required. They must file reports for each accident that occurs with the workers’ compensation board office nearest them. More importantly, employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who file claims through harassment or unjust termination.
What Is Partial Versus Total Disability, And Temporary Versus Permanent Disability?
There are four classifications for injured workers. Partial disability is the condition of an employee who is no longer able to perform their duties at full capacity due to injury or illness. Total disability, on the other hand, is when an employee is no longer able to perform any work, entirely due to illness of injury. Permanent disability refers to cases where the injury is lasting and permanent. Temporary disability is where the injury is not permanent in nature, but does cause some downtime for the worker. Most disability payouts are scheduled injuries. What this means is that a worker is entitled to receive a payout based on Alabama’s statutory law, as it corresponds to the injured body part. This is a very mundane way of evaluating a person’s injury and the effect it has on his or her employability and financial stability, but this is the system that has been enacted by our legislators. However, many injuries can fall outside of the schedule, which can lend itself to higher awards.
Why Do I Need To Hire An Attorney? How Much Are The Fees?
If you are injured at a workplace, you are not on an equal playing field without an attorney. Many employers will try to get you released back to MMI quickly to avoid having to pay additional medical care. They will also try to avoid paying you a fair settlement for your disability, which is where attorneys come in to advocate for you to make you are on a level playing field against the employer and workers’ compensation carriers who typically only care about the dollar and not about the person.
Attorney fees are capped at 15% of the total disability payout by Alabama law.
Moore Law Firm has been providing injured workers with personalized care since 1985. We specialize in helping injury victims because we are passionate about helping those often overlooked by the system. Because there are strict notice time frames that claimants are required to follow in order to preserve a workers’ compensation claim, it is important that you contact a trusted lawyer as soon as possible. Give us a call today!
For additional workers compensation FAQs click here.
If you or a loved one has been injured while on the job, please give us a call today. There are strict notice time frames to follow in order to preserve a Workers’ Compensation Claim. Consult our firm for a trusted workers compensation attorney. Mobile, Alabama’s Moore Law Firm would be more than happy to handle your claim for you so that you can get the compensation you deserve.