In the state of Alabama, when you get injured while on your job, you might be entitled to obtain workers' compensation benefits. Working with an experienced Hoover Workers' Compensation Lawyer from the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you make sure that your claim is handled properly.
We are among the leading injury law firms in the South, and we'll make sure that you're not compelled to get back to work until you've recovered fully. To learn more about the process of filing a workers' compensation claim and how to determine the value of your claim, get in touch with our Hoover injury law firm today at 205-666-6000 and schedule a free risk-free evaluation.
What is Workers' Compensation?
- Workers' compensation is the system where in the event a person is hurt while on the clock, they are legally entitled to:Medical care, including medication and hospital stays, which are paid off by your employer's insurer
- Temporary total disability benefits in the event that your doctor takes you off work for a given amount of time
- Compensation for prescriptions and physical therapy
- Compensation for any needed travel expenses
You might also have legal grounds for pursuing vocational rehabilitation. Each state has its own laws regarding workers' compensation, and it's important to work with an attorney who specializes in Alabama workers' compensation law to better your chances.
What Should I Do if I'm Injured on the Job?
If you sustain any work-related injuries, you should follow these steps:
- Let your employer know that you are hurt
- Seek medical attention immediately and follow their instructions
- Keep a good record of your injuries and related symptoms
- If you can, take pictures of videos of your injuries
- File a workers' compensation claim with the help of a Hoover workers' compensation attorney at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers
- Sit back, rest, and recuperate
Failing to report the injuries you sustained to your employer as promptly as possible might affect your ability to seek the workers' compensation benefits. Keep in mind that your employer isn't obligated to pay out work-related injury payout and medical care or a portion of your earning until you've notified them about the accident and you're referred to a medical practitioner.
Consider working with a seasoned Alabama workers' compensation lawyer to look after your best interest and help you navigate through the murky process of filing a workers' compensation claim. keep in mind that you'll be dealing with insurance adjusters whose main role is to work to lower the payment amount to as low as possible.
The insurance company that carries the workers' compensation coverage for your employer has an economic interest in denying your Alabama workers' compensation claim. as such, you need to have someone by your side to help you get past the red tape and get the compensation you need and deserve. For many years, we have been helping injured workers to get the benefits they deserve after getting into a workplace injury. Contact our experienced Hoover workers' compensation lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers today.
What are the Most Common Types of Work Injuries?
Some of the workplace injuries are more common compared to others. People whose job requires physical labor are more likely to get injured in their workplaces. That's because most of the tasks involve lifting heavy objects, which subjects their bodies to strain all of the time. Some of the more prevalent injuries when it comes to workers' compensation cases include:
- Back injuries: These include muscle strains and disc issues. You might even sustain a spinal cord injury
- Injuries to the Neck: A worker could sustain anything from a torn tendon to a broken neck
- Brain injuries: In case you suffer a traumatic brain injury from a work injury, you're eligible for compensation
- Injured Knees: You might tear or injure your meniscus or even the ACL. Both of these will often require surgery along with physical therapy.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: There are a wide range of repetitive stress injuries, though carpal tunnel is perhaps the most common
- Hip injuries: You might suffer a broken hip and muscle strains
- Occupational Illnesses: This includes respiratory infections, cancers, etc.
There are a few specific injuries that could make you miss work for many months, if not years. Some will not be serious and will have you back to work in no time. To apply for worker compensation, you should have been out of work for a period of not less than 3 weeks. Anything less will have you use your personal resources and time to cover your wages.
Why Should I Hire a Hoover Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
One key reason for relying on seasoned workers compensation lawyers in Hoover, Alabama, is that they are well conversant with the local laws. They fully understand the requirements needed to qualify for workers' compensation.
If you want to receive workers' compensation benefits, you must meet the following criteria:
At the time of injury or when you realized you're sick, you must have been on the clock. You must also have been doing work within the scope of your employment. For instance, if you're a waiter working at a restaurant and get injured while unloading a crate of supplies from a truck, there might be a problem. Unless your employer gave you the task, the claim might be denied. Your employer might claim that you weren't employed to do that kind of job. However, your workers' comp lawyer will help you contest these claims.
Your lawyer has to show conclusive proof that you can't perform your duties anymore. If you're a secretary and you injured your ankle, it could be difficult to convince the court that you can no longer do your job. You have to demonstrate that you were really injured.
Your injury should not be as a result of a pre-existing condition. While a pre-existing ailment or condition doesn't disqualify you from receiving workers' comp, your employer might claim they aren't liable for your injuries.
Whether your injury prevents you from performing your roles will entirely depend on the kind of injuries that you sustained.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Alabama Workers' Compensation Attorney?
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, all workers' compensation cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. The standard legal fee is 15% of the compensation amount awarded by the court. If it happens that we don't win the case, you won't have to pay a dime.
Why Was My Workers' Compensation Claim Denied?
In general, if there's an employee-employer relationship in the company, the employee is covered in the event of injury, more so if the injury occurs in the duration of employment and arises out of the employment. Even so, there are certain exceptional cases outlined under the law that insurance companies often try to exploit and deny benefits. They include the following:
- When a third party or a fellow employee causes injury because of personal reasons
- When willful misconduct of the worker results in the accident
- When there's deliberate self-harm to the employee
- When the employee fails to utilize the safety appliances provided by the employer willfully
- When an employee's intoxicated at work through usage of alcohol and other drugs
- When a worker knows and willfully breaches a rule or regulation set up by the employer
- When an employee willfully refuses or neglects to follow the law
The insurance provider will try to deny your claim based on their interpretation of the event, and this is where our lawyers will fight for your rights aggressively and give out facts about the accident in the best light to give your claim the best chances.
A few other kinds of disputes can result from your injuries, including choice of a treatment plan, and attending doctor, readiness to get back to work, disability settlement, along with partial disability rating. In case you face any problems regarding workers' compensation, you can count on us to represent you, advocate for your rights, and produce favorable results.
Can I Appeal a Denied Workers' Compensation Claim?
If you've been injured in a workplace accident, there are a number of a few standard things that you have to do. Failure to follow these guidelines properly could risk your entire claim getting denied. In case the claim is rejected, it won't be easy to appeal it. The appeals procedure is painstakingly slow. And as you wait, you might struggle to pay for your bills.
As such, as soon as you get injured, you should do the following:
- Immediately report the accident to your supervisor
- Make sure that HR (human resources) is aware of the accident and your injuries
- Seek prompt medical care from a physician approved by your company
- Take a drug test if needed by your employer
- Get in touch with a Hoover workers compensation lawyer
Following these rules will help make sure that your claim is approved. However, there's no guarantee that it will. There are a number of reasons that might have your claim denied. If you want to safeguard your rights as per Alabama laws, you'll want to hire a workers' compensation lawyer on retainer. Contact the expert team at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers to make sure your rights are protected.
What are the Employer's Responsibilities in a Workers Comp Case?
Your employer will be responsible for all your medical costs as long as they occurred because of a workplace-related injury. This includes any immediate expenses and other expenses that you'll likely incur in the future. You should also be compensated for any lost wages from the time spent away from work. Nonetheless, when you file a claim, an array of issues could crop up between you and your employer.
In some cases, the employer simply denies the workers' benefits application. If your employer insists that they aren't responsible for your injuries, you should contact the Workers' Compensation Division right away and request to speak with an ombudsman. They will ideally act as a mediator between you and your employer. Alternatively, contact a workers' comp lawyer to have the case handled in court. Don't forget that you have two years to file the complaint in court from the time of the accident.
There are instances where an employer approves your claim but later on demands that you return to work before you've recovered fully. If your doctor gave your time off, you should rest at home for as long as you need to. Don't allow your employer to rush you into returning to work earlier than you should. In case your employer is compelling you to get to work before you recuperate, contact a lawyer to discuss your options. Getting back to work before you fully recuperate will put you at risk of aggravating your injuries.
In case you're in doubt whether your employer is acting within the law or fulfilling their obligations, reach out to us. Certain laws are in place to protect you. Some laws are quite intricate, and if there are any loopholes, you can be sure that companies will find them. That's why you need to work with an experienced attorney.
Can I be Fired for Filing a Workers Comp Claim in Alabama?
The Alabama Workers' Compensation Act gives an exception to the “at-will” principle. This Act stipulates that no employee should be laid off by the employer solely on the grounds that the employee initiated legal action against the employer to seek workers' comp benefits, or just because the employer files a written notice of violating safety standards.
The keyword here is “solely”, which is often the language used by the courts during workers' comp cases. In other words, the retaliation claim might not survive in case there are other reasons for firing the employee.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Employer for a Workplace Injury?
There are a number of instances where an Alabama employee has the right to sue their employer outside workers' compensation. Basically, there are four bases for filing a lawsuit with regards to a workers' compensation injury:
- The employer failed to obtain the proper workers' compensation insurance
- Retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim
- Intentional action that results to injury
- Sexual harassment
Is there a Time Limit for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?
Based on Alabama State Laws, when a person suffers an injury while on the clock, they have up to 2 years after the date of injury to file a claim. as such, it's in your best interest to file your workers' compensation claim as soon as possible.
How Much is My Alabama Workers Comp Claim Worth?
Alabama Workers' Comp law accommodates two benefits following a work accident – payment of medical costs as well as payment of two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you're away from work. In case you're incapable of resuming work or get back to work with permanent limitations, the law allows for a lump sum payment contingent on either:
- The medical impairment
- The vocational limitations incurred
Moreover, if the injuries sustained were caused by the negligence of a third party other than the employer, you can sue the third party and receive compensation that's not available under the workers' comp law.
Get In Touch With Our Hoover Workers' Compensation Lawyers Today
In case you were injured while working, contact a workers' compensation lawyer in Hoover, Alabama immediately. An attorney from the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers will make sure that your claim is handled correctly. We'll also get in touch with your employer and their insurer.
A key upside of having a personal injury attorney in Hoover by your side is that in case your claim is rejected, we'll move promptly to file an appeal on your behalf. We've managed to win millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and we can do the same for your case.
Contact us and schedule a free initial consultation today!