In Alabama, if you're on the job and get injured, you may be entitled to obtain workers' compensation benefits. An experienced Birmingham workers' compensation lawyer at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers can assist in making sure that your claim is dealt with properly.
We are among the leading personal injury firms in Birmingham, and we ensure you are not compelled to get back to work before you have fully recovered. For additional information regarding the workers' compensation claims process and the value of your claim, reach out to our law offices today at 205-666-6000 to book your risk-free evaluation.
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What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' Compensation refers to a system where, in the event, you are hurt while on the clock, you may be legally entitled to:
- Medical care, which includes hospital stays, paid for by the insurance provider of your employer
- Temporary total disability benefit in case the attending doctor takes you off work for the statutory period of time.
- Physical therapy
- Necessary travel expenses.
You may also have legal grounds to pursue vocational rehabilitation. Every state has its laws when it comes to workers' compensation, which is why it's so important to call a lawyer who is a specialist in Alabama workers' compensation law.
What Should I Do if I'm Injured on the Job?
In case you sustain a work-related injury, you must follow these steps:
- Inform your employer that you are hurt.
- Get to a doctor immediately and follow their instructions.
- Begin and keep a written record of your injuries and symptoms.
- If visible, take pictures of your injury.
- File a workers' compensation claim with the assistance of a Birmingham workers' compensation lawyer at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers
- Rest and recuperate.
If you don't report the injuries you have sustained to your employer promptly, it might affect your right to seek workers' compensation benefits. Your employer is not obligated to pay out any injury-related medical care or part of your earnings until you have given notice of the accident and are referred to a certified medical practitioner.
You should consider hiring a seasoned Birmingham workers' compensation attorney to fight for your best interest and navigate you through the murky Workers' compensation claim process. You will be dealing with insurance adjusters who are hired by insurance providers and whose job is to reduce the payout to as little as possible. The workers' compensation carrier of your employer has an economic interest to deny your Alabama workers' compensation claim.
You need somebody to get past the red tape and get the workers' compensation benefits you require and so deserve. We assist injured workers in getting the benefits that they are entitled to after a workplace injury. Reach out to experienced Alabama workers' compensation lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers in Birmingham.
What are the Most Common Types of Work Injuries?
Some injuries in the workplace are more common compared to others. Individuals who perform physical labor are likely to get injured. That's because they lift heavy objects and subject their bodies to strain all the time.
Some of the prevalent injuries we see when it comes to workers compensation cases include:
- Back Injuries – You may sustain disc issues or a muscle strain. You could even sustain a spinal cord injury
- Brain injuries – In the event, you suffer a traumatic brain injury, you should be eligible for workers compensation
- Neck Injuries – You could sustain a tendon tear or in some cases even a broken neck
- Knee Injuries – You may tear your meniscus or ACL. Both injuries will need surgery as well as physical therapy
- Hip injuries – You may suffer muscle strains or break your hip
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – There are an array other repetitive stress injuries, but carpal tunnel is the most common type
- Occupational Illnesses – Respiratory infections, cancer, and more are covered by occupational illnesses.
There are specific injuries that may have you missing work for months, if not years. Some will have you back to work within no time. To apply for workers' comp, you'll have to be out of work for a period not less than three weeks. Anything less will see you use your own personal time and resources to cover your wages.
Why Should I Hire a Birmingham Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
One crucial reason for relying on seasoned workers comp attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama, is that they are conversant with the laws. There are fully aware of the requirements needed to qualify for workers' compensation.
To get workers comp benefits, you'll have to meet the following:
- You must have been on the clock at the time you got injured or realized you're sick
- At the time of injury, you must have been doing work within the scope of your employment. For instance, if you're a waitress working at a bar and get injured while carrying cases of beer, there may be an issue. Unless your employer tasked you with unloading the truck, your claim might get denied. Your boss can claim that you weren't employed to do that job. Your Alabama personal injury attorney will most certainly contest these claims.
- You must indicate that you were really injured
- Your lawyer has to show proof that you can no longer perform your duties. If you're a secretary and hurt your ankle, it'll be difficult convincing a court of law that you can't do your work.
- Your injury must not result from a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition won't disqualify you from receiving workers comp automatically. However, your employer may claim that your work isn't liable for your injuries.
Whether your injury can prevent you from performing your roles entirely depends on the type of injury you have sustained.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Alabama Workers' Compensation Attorney?
All our workers' compensation cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. In Alabama, the appropriate percentage that will be paid out from the compensation awarded by the court, is capped at 15%. In case we don't successfully win, you won't pay a dime.
Why Was My Workers' Compensation Claim Denied?
Generally, if a worker has an employee-employer relationship with the company, They are covered in the event the injury ‘arises out of employment' and occurs ‘in the duration of employment.' Even so, there are exceptional cases stipulated under the law that insurance providers try exploiting to deny benefits. They include:
- When the willful misconduct of worker results to the accident
- When a fellow employee or third party causes injury due to personal reasons
- When the self-harm to the employee is deliberate
- When the employee's intoxication as a result of the usage of illegal drugs or alcohol is the cause
- When a worker fails to make use of safety appliances given by the employer willfully
- When a worker neglects or willfully refuses to act as per the law
- When a worker is aware and willfully breaches a regulation or rule set up by the employer
An insurance provider can try denying your claim based on the interpretation of events, and that's where we will assert your rights aggressively and present facts of the accident in the best light for the claim to pull through.
Several other types of disputes can result from your workplace injury like readiness to get back to work, choice of attending doctor and treatment plan, your disability settlement, and partial disability rating. If you have any issues relating to workers' compensation, you can count on our law firm to advocate for your rights and provide positive results.
Can I Appeal a Denied Workers' Compensation Claim?
If you've gotten into a workplace accident, there are a few standard things you'll have to do. In case you don't follow the guidelines properly, you risk your whole claim getting denied. And in case your claim is rejected, it will not be easy appealing.
The reality is that the appeals procedure takes a long time. As you wait, you won't have any way of paying for the bills. If you get injured, you must do the following:
- Report the work accident to your supervisor right away
- Ensure that Human Resources is in the know regarding your injuries
- Seek medical care immediately from a company-approved physician
- If required by your employer, take a drug test
- Contact a Birmingham workers compensation attorney
If you follow all these rules, chances are that your claim will get approved. But there's no guarantee of that. Your claim may be denied for an array of reasons. In case you want to safeguard your rights as per workers' comp in Alabama, you'll want to have a Birmingham workers' compensation attorney on retainer. Get in touch with the pros at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers now to get experienced experts by your corner.
What are the Employer's Responsibilities in a Workers Comp Case?
Your employer is responsible for all your medical costs, provided they are incurred because of a workplace injury. This includes immediate expenses and those likely to be incurred in the future. You should also be reimbursed for lost wages as a result of time spent away from work. However, when a compensation claim is filed, an array of issues can crop up between employers and employees.
There are times when employers may deny a worker's benefits application. In the event your employer insists they are not responsible, you should contact the Workers' Compensation Division. Request to talk with an ombudsman to act as a mediator between the employer and yourself. The other alternative is getting in touch with a lawyer, so the case is handled in court. Note that you should have filed the complaint in court within two years following the accident.
There instances when an employer can approve your claim, but later on demand that you return to work before you've fully recuperated. If the physician has given you time off, you rest at home for as long as needed. Never allow your employer to rush you into returning earlier than you should. If the employer is compelling you to get back to work too soon, call a lawyer to discuss the options you have. Going back to your regular routines before you are fully ready puts you at more risk of aggravating the injury.
If you are in doubt that the employer is acting within the confines of the law or fulfilling their duties, reach out to the Birmingham workers' compensation attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers. Laws can prove to be quite intricate, and if there are loopholes, you can bet that companies will find them. This is the reason you need an experienced legal representative on your side.
Can I be Fired for Filing a Workers' Comp Claim in Alabama?
There's a part in the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act that offers an exception to the “at-will” principle. The Act states that:
No employee should be fired by an employer solely because the employee has initiated or maintained any legal action against the employer to get workers' compensation benefits or solely because the employer has filed a written notice of violation of safety standards.
The key phrase is ‘solely' which is the language courts concentrate on when ruling Workers' Comp retaliation cases. To put it differently, the retaliation claim may not survive if there's another reason for terminating an employee.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Employer for a Workplace Injury?
There are certain scenarios where an employee in Birmingham, AL, may have the right of suing their employer outside of the Workers' Compensation. There are basically four bases for filing a suit relating to a Workers' compensation injury: the employer's failure to maintain proper Workers' Compensation insurance, sexual harassment, intentional action resulting in injury, and retaliation for filing a Workers' Compensation claim.
Is there a Time Limit for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?
According to Alabama state laws, when you suffer an injury while on the clock, you have up to two years following the date of injury to file a claim. It's in your interest to file the workers' compensation claim as soon as you can.
How Much is My Alabama Workers Comp Claim Worth?
The Alabama worker's comp law accommodates two benefits after a work accident: Payment of medical costs and payment of two-thirds of your average weekly wage during the period you cannot work. In case you are physically incapable of returning to work or get back with a permanent limitation, Alabama law provides for a lump sum settlement that's contingent on either (1) the medical impairment, or (2) your vocational limitations. What's more, if the injury you sustained was caused by the third-party's negligence and not the employer, you have legal grounds to sue the third party and receive compensation not provided under workman compensation law.
Get In Touch With Our Birmingham Workers Compensation Lawyers Today
If you're injured while at work, you need to call a workers' compensation attorney immediately. A Birmingham personal injury lawyer at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers will ensure your claim is handled correctly. We also link up with your employer and their insurance provider.
Another upside of having a lawyer is if your claim is rejected, we'll move steadfastly to file an appeal for you. We have managed to win millions of dollars for our clients through both settlements and lawsuits, so allow us to do the same for your case.
Call us to schedule a free of charge initial consultation now!