If you got hurt in the working place in Alabama, you may qualify for workers' compensation benefits. Our experienced Montgomery workers' compensation lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you handle your claim properly.
We are among the top personal injury law firms in Montgomery and Alabama, and we boast many successful years of dealing with workers' compensation in and around Montgomery. We will ensure that your employer does not compel you to return to work before you fully recuperate. We can tell you more about the workers' compensation claims process and what your workers' compensation claim is worth.
Call us at 334-666-5000 to schedule a risk-free, no-charge case assessment today.
What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers' compensation is an “insurance” system driven by the state meant to ensure people who sustain workplace injuries are compensated for their losses. Under this mandate, it doesn't matter who the liable party is since the system does not assign fault for the workplace injury to anyone. Whether it is the injured party, the employer, or someone else who is at fault, the injured employee should be compensated for damages suffered regardless of the circumstances of the workplace injury.
Injured workers are likely to get disqualified from getting workers' compensation benefits if they were under the influence of illegal drugs and substances.
On top of workers' compensation, injured employees may also qualify for other damages through a personal injury claim. We can tell whether the cause of your workplace injury is due to a third party's negligence.
What Steps Should I Follow if I'm Hurt on the Job?
In the event of a workplace injury, follow these steps to protect your legal rights and interests:
Tell your supervisor or employer you are hurt
You should report your workplace injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible, even if the injury is a mild one. Your employer may require you to follow some rules. If you are not familiar with the rules, ask your supervisor. Also, share any safety concerns with your employer or supervisor.
If you fail to report your workplace injuries promptly, your right to seek workers' compensation benefits might be affected. Employers aren't obliged to pay out any compensation until you have reported the accident and referred to a certified physician.
Get medical help as soon as you can and follow your physician's instructions
The first course of action if your injury is serious should be to get immediate medical treatment. Your employer should cater for any travel costs if you went to the doctor or hospital on the same day you're injured.
When you see the physician, you need to; tell them all of your symptoms and exactly what happened, ensure the physician is taking down your statements, and ask him or her to send a Health Professional's Report to report your injury to the WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board).
Document your injury
Make sure you make detailed notes regarding your workplace accident injuries and keep them safe. It's smart to make these notes right after the accident and include the date of the accident and the names of any witnesses.
You want to have good notes to remind you of the correct chronology of events because you may come to find out later that sometimes employers may disagree that your injury took place in the workplace.
Use your mobile phone or any camera at hand to take photographs and videos of your injury, if possible, to serve as evidence that may strengthen your claim.
Hire an attorney
Get a Montgomery workers' compensation lawyer from our firm to help you file a workers' compensation claim. Our team can help you navigate the complex workers' compensation claim process and fight for your best interests. We will handle insurance adjusters hired by insurance companies to reduce the payout to as little as possible.
We can help you get past the red tape and obtain the workers' compensation benefits you deserve.
Rest and recuperate
Take some time to rest and recover from your workplace injury as we pursue benefits on your behalf.
Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Some job-related injuries are more prevalent than others. Workers who job involves physical labor are likely to get hurt because they strain their bodies all the time with all the heavy lifting they do.
Anyone can be injured at work, but these are some of the most prevalent injuries witnessed in Alabama's workers' compensation cases:
Back / Neck Injuries
Employees who are required to sit in an office all day often complain of chronic back pain. Work environments may cause a wide variety of back and neck injuries, including bulging discs (herniated discs), tendon tear, whiplash, etc. They often result in significantly longer periods away from work.
Falls From Heights
Falling from heights is particularly common in the construction industry because workers risk falling from ladders, roofs, stairways, scaffolding, platforms, and other elevated surfaces. These falls are often the product of improperly used safety equipment or poorly built structures resulting in numerous worker injuries and deaths.
Working around power lines and exposed electric wires, faulty electrical outlets, and accidentally hitting underground cables as they dig exposes workers to the risk of being electrocuted.
Workers tend to suffer hearing loss when constantly exposed to loud noises.
Slip and Falls
Slip and Falls cause most work-related injuries and may cause injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injury, concussions, spinal cord injury, soft tissue damage, etc.
Construction sites are dangerous places where accidents are not so uncommon. Construction accidents can take the form of falls, electrocution, being hit by falling objects, machinery injuries, etc.
Accidents while traveling for business
Workers who drive for their businesses or companies as part of their jobs are exposed to negligent drivers and other dangers on the road while on the clock.
Employees who work with and around heat may get burn injuries in case of a workplace accident.
Workers may have their limbs torn off when they get into freak accidents in the workplace, particularly in jobs involving heavy machinery and equipment.
Accidents while working with machinery or tools
Workers who handle heavy-duty machinery may suffer injuries when they fail to use the machinery or equipment correctly.
Employees can only apply for workers' compensation benefits if the injury kept them away from work for more than three weeks.
Why Should I Hire A Montgomery Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
While you are not required by Alabama laws to retain a workers' compensation lawyer for your claim, it could benefit you significantly. Here is how a Montgomery Workers' compensation attorney from Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers can help:
Case Preparation/Filing a Claim
An attorney will ensure that all steps involving the preparation of your case are completed correctly, including conducting investigations and gathering evidence. Once fault and liability have been determined, an attorney will file a workers' compensation claim on your behalf.
Another reason why you should hire a Montgomery workers' compensation lawyer is to lead settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Our qualified attorneys will ensure you get the full benefits you are due by countering the exploitative settlements.
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we can also help prepare your case for trial if negotiations fail to bear fruit. On top of that, you will benefit from being represented by an experienced, qualified, and recognized professional who is knowledgeable about personal injury claims.
Appealing a Denied Claim
Finally, we can help you appeal a denied claim by revisiting the circumstances leading to your workplace accident.
Pursuing compensation for a job injury without a workers' compensation attorney is too risky. It's not our first time handling such cases. Therefore, you can rest assured that you stand to benefit by retaining a Montgomery workers' compensation lawyer.
How Much Does a Montgomery Workers' Lawyer Attorney Cost?
In Montgomery, Alabama, all attorneys handle workers' compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. Under this payment structure, we will agree on an appropriate percentage that will be paid out from the compensation or settlement awarded by the court. In case we aren't successful, you won't pay us a penny!
What Should I Do if My Workers' Compensation Claim Is Denied?
If your Alabama workers' compensation claim is wrongfully denied, your next step should be to dispute the wrongful denial by bringing a civil suit in an Alabama District Court. Typically, you are required to file the claim in your job's district or in the district in which your accident happened.
What Is The Responsibility of The Employee in Filing a Workers Comp Claim?
As per Alabama laws, employees have the following responsibilities after a job-related injury:
- Follow the employer's written rules of safety and other reasonable policies.
- Report any workplace accident right away, or before the end of 30 days after the accident, to your employer, foreman, or immediate supervisor.
- Accept the State Board of Workers' Compensation's order to get appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitation services.
- Show that willful misconduct did not cause the incident.
- Notify your insurance carrier or employer of your new address when you move; also notify the insurance carrier/employer when you can work full-time or part-time, and report how much you make weekly because you may qualify for some income benefits even though you have resumed work.
- Notify the insurer or employer of any change of address or remarriage (for a dependent spouse of a decedent worker).
- Attempt a job or task authorized by the treating physician, even if its pay is less than your job before your injury.
- Submit to a drug test following a workplace injury if requested, or justify your refusal with substantial evidence.
If you believe you qualify for income benefits and your employer or insurer denies these benefits, file a claim before one year ends after the last authorized medical treatment date or two years after your latest payment of weekly benefits.
File a claim with the SBWC (State Board of Workers' Compensation) before one year ends after losing a loved one due to a job-related accident.
What Is The Responsibility Of The Employer In The Workers' Compensation Process?
When an employee has suffered an injury while on the clock, The employer is required by law to follow some strict procedures, the employer must:
Provide safety in the workplace
Employers are required to provide safety at the workplace by taking the necessary precaution to prevent injury and hazardous situations.
File a First Report of Injury
Employers must file an injury report and forward it to their workers' compensation insurance company and the assigned workers' compensation physician.
Respect Employees' Rights
Employers must not violate the rights of their injured employees. For example, they must respect the workers' rights to medical treatment after a workplace accident.
Cooperate With Investigators
Employers must collaborate with investigators and submit any available documentation.
Allow Employees to Resume Work
The employer's responsibility is to recall an employee back to work in Alabama once they are ready to return.
Can My Employer Fire Me For Claiming A Workers' Comp Benefits?
According to the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act, an employer should not fire an employee solely because the worker has initiated any legal recourse against the employer to get workers' compensation benefits or solely because a worker reported a violation of safety standards in the workplace.
Is There A Deadline For Filing A Workers' Comp Claim In Montgomery, Alabama?
According to Alabama state laws regarding workers' compensation benefits, when you suffer a workplace injury, you have two years after the injury date or two years from the last compensation payment to file a claim.
It's in your best interest to file the workers' compensation claim before the deadline expires lest you want to be barred from pursuing damages. At Mike, we can help you file your claim within the stipulated time limit.
Can I Sue My Employer In Alabama?
Usually, employees can't sue their employers for workplace accidents that lead to injury. However, certain scenarios may give a worker in Montgomery, AL, the right to sue their employer outside of the Workers' Compensation.
There are four bases for suing an employer; sexual harassment, intentional action that causes injury, Failure by the employer to maintain proper Workers' Compensation insurance, and retribution for filing a Workers' Compensation claim.
Can An Independent Contractor File A Workers' Comp Claim?
In Alabama, independent contractors do not qualify for workers' compensation coverage; thus, Alabama state law does not require employers to get independent contractors any coverage. Sadly, some employers try to bend the rules and intentionally misclassify their workers.
Are you an independent contractor who suffered an injury at work? Do you suspect that your employer misclassified your employment status and is now refusing to pay your workers' compensation benefits? Don't fret, a trusted Montgomery workers' compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights and legal options as an independent contractor.
What Is My Montgomery Workers' Compensation Claim Worth?
When computing the value of your workers' compensation claim, two factors are key; medical expenses and lost wages. Your workers' comp will pay for:
Your medical bills (with authorized treating physicians)
It will cover all the necessary treatment for your work-related injury, including prescription medication, any rehabilitation costs, and any travel expenses related to the treatment of your injury. You will, however, need to see a physician that your employer has chosen.
If you decide to get treatment from a different doctor other than the authorized ones, you will have to cover all expenses by yourself. The only exception is when you need emergency care – go to the nearest medical care facility if you have a medical emergency.
Percentage of Lost Wages
Workers' compensation benefits replace a percentage of your lost wages by paying two-thirds of your weekly average wage during the period you could not or cannot work.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Workers' compensation requires the injured worker to be paid an additional amount of money if the authorized treating doctor issues a disability rating that complies with the American Medical Association Guidelines.
Contact Our Montgomery Workers' Compensation Lawyers Today
If you're injured in a Montgomery, Alabama workplace accident, you should know that you are entitled to certain rights and benefits. Employers also have responsibilities and obligations to employees regarding Alabama's workers' compensation benefits. Since employers and insurance companies are often out to make profits, they will put their interests before the interests of their employees, leaving workplace injury victims and their families in financial limbo.
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, you can expect us to stand up for your rights and fight for your deserved compensation if you sustained injuries while on the clock. With several years of experience, we have helped many injured workers across different industries in Montgomery and throughout Alabama to overcome workers' compensation obstacles.
We assist injured Montgomery workers in getting the benefits that they deserve after a job injury. Reach out to our Montgomery personal injury law firm today at 334-666-5000 to arrange a case evaluation free of any charges and obligations.