When an individual gets injured while in the line of duty in the state of Alabama, they might be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. Working with a Talladega workers compensation lawyer at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers can help ensure that your claim is well handled. We are one of the leading injury law firms in the South, and we'll see to it that you aren't compelled to resume work until you've fully recovered. To get more details about the process of filing a workers' compensation claim, and how to arrive at your claim value, reach out to our Talladega personal injury lawyers today to schedule a risk-free evaluation at 256-666-6000.
What is Workers' Compensation?
Worker's compensation refers to the system where, in case a person is injured while on the clock, they legally qualify for:
- Medical care, which includes hospital stays and medication, to be paid off by the employer's insurance company
- Temporary total disability benefits in case the doctor advises that you stay off work for a given period
- Compensation to cover physical therapy and prescriptions
- Compensation to cover necessary travel expenses
You might also have the legal right to seek vocational rehabilitation. With each state having its laws related to workers' compensation, it is important to involve a lawyer who is experienced and specialized in Alabama workers' compensation law for a higher success probability in your case.
What Should I Do if I'm Injured on the Job?
In case you suffer any work-related injured, be sure to take the following steps:
- Inform your employer that you are hurt
- Seek immediate medical attention and adhere to the medics' instructions
- Keep a detailed record of the injuries and any related symptoms
- If possible, take pictures and record videos of the injuries
- Submit a workers' compensation claim under the guidance of a Talladega workers' compensation lawyer at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers
- Relax and recuperate
Failure to inform your employer of the injuries sustained as fast as possible might affect the course of seeking your workers' compensation benefits. It is important to note that your employer is not obliged to pay compensation for work-related injuries, cater for any medical care or pay a part of your earnings until you inform them of the accident and referred to a doctor.
Working with an experienced Alabama workers' compensation attorney is a great consideration as they prioritize your interests and guide you through the intense process of filing a workers' compensation claim. Note that the process involves working with insurance adjusters, whose main aim is to lower your compensation to the least amount possible.
Your employer's insurance company, which is responsible for the workers' compensation coverage, has an economic interest and will do everything to water down your Alabama workers' compensation claim. This means that you will need someone to help you through such obstacles so that you get your much-deserved compensation. We've been helping injured workers to receive their compensation benefits over the years following an injury at their workplace. Reach out to our seasoned Alabama workers' compensation attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers today.
What are the Most Common Types of Work Injuries?
Some injuries are more common in workplaces than in other places. Individuals whose jobs require physical workforce are more likely to suffer injuries in their workplaces. Most of the tasks they perform involve heavy lifting, and their bodies are therefore under constant strain. The most common injuries reported in worker's compensation claims include:
Back injuries, which include muscle strains and disc problems. Some individuals may even suffer a spinal cord injury.
Neck injuries: Workers may suffer injuries ranging from a torn tendon to a broken neck.
Brain injuries: Workers who suffer traumatic brain injury while at work qualify to receive compensation.
Knee injury: While working, an individual may injure or tear their meniscus or rapture their ACL. These injuries necessitate a surgery coupled with physical therapy.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Individuals may suffer various repetitive stress injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome may just be the most common.
Hip injuries: Workers may also suffer a broken hip or sustain a muscle strain.
Occupational ailments: This can include respiratory infections, cancers, and others.
There are specific injuries that may lay you off your work for months and possibly years. Some may not be as serious, and you may recover in good time and resume work shortly after. For a valid worker compensation application, you must have been out of work for not less than 3 weeks. For a period less than this, you may have to use your resources to cover your wages.
Why Should I Hire a Talladega Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
One of the reasons for counting on experienced attorneys in Talladega, Alabama, is that they have a proper understanding of the state laws. They understand what it takes to qualify for workers' compensation.
For you to receive workers' compensation benefits, you ought to meet the following criteria:
- You must have been on the clock at the time of sustaining the injury or realizing the symptoms
- You must have been undertaking a task within the scope of your employment. For example, if you are a waiter at a restaurant and get injured in the course of unloading crates of supplies from a delivery truck, then you may have a problem with your workers' compensation claim. Unless your employer delegated the task, such a claim could easily be rejected. Your employer might state that your job description didn't include that task. Nonetheless, your workers' compensation attorney will assist you in contesting these claims.
- Your attorney has to submit satisfactory evidence that you can no longer perform your duties. If you are a secretary and sustain an ankle injury, it might be problematic to convince a judge that you are incapable of working anymore.
- You have to show clearly that you are injured.
- Your injury should not be sustained as a result of a pre-existing health condition. While a pre-existing health condition doesn't invalidate your right to receive workers' compensation, your employer might state that they aren't responsible for the injuries.
- The kind of injuries sustained will determine whether or not you can continue to perform your tasks like you used to.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Alabama Workers' Compensation Attorney?
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, workers' compensation cases are all handled on a contingency fee basis. A predetermined percentage of the compensation amount is the standard legal fee for such cases. In cases where we don't win the case, you don't have to worry about paying anything.
Why Was My Workers' Compensation Claim Denied?
Generally, where an employer-employee relationship exists in a company, the employee is covered in case of any injury. This is especially so if the injury occurs in the course of the employment period and arises as a result of the employment. However, there are some exceptions highlighted by the law, and which insurance companies seek to exploit to deny compensation. These include the following:
- When a fellow employee or third party causes injuries for personal reasons.
- When a worker's deliberate misconduct results in the accident.
- When there is self-infliction of injuries by an employee.
- When an employee willfully fails to use the provided safety appliances or gear.
- When an employee is intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs while at work.
- When a worker recognizes and deliberately breaks a rule or regulation set by the employer.
- When an employee deliberately ignores or neglects the law.
The insurance provider will try as hard to deny your claim based on their judgment of the occurrences. Luckily, this is where our attorneys come in to advocate for your rights and present the facts concerning the accident in the best way possible to boost the success chances of your claim.
Other disputes that arise from your injuries may be the choice of the doctor to see, treatment plan, readiness to resume work, disability settlement, and the partial disability rating as well. In case you have any problem with workers' compensation, you can always rely on us to represent you, fight for your rights, and give you the best possible results.
Can I Appeal a Denied Workers' Compensation Claim?
In case you've been injured at your workplace, there are a couple of standard things you ought to do. Failure to adhere to these guidelines puts your claim at risk of being denied. If your claim is rejected, appealing might be difficult. This is because the appeal process is incredibly slow. While you wait, you might struggle to foot your regular bills.
As soon as you get injured in Talladega, ensure you do the following:
- Report the accident to your immediate supervisor immediately.
- Ensure that the human resource personnel knows of your accident and injuries.
- Seek immediate medical attention from a doctor approved by your company.
- Take a drug test when requested by your employer.
- Reach out to a Talladega workers' compensation attorney.
Adhering to these rules increases the chances of having your claim approved since the approval is not guaranteed. Several reasons may result in the denial of your claim, and if you desire to safeguard your rights as by the Alabama laws, you may want to hire a workers' compensation attorney on retainer. Reach out to the expert team at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers to ensure that your rights are safeguarded.
What are the Employer's Responsibilities in a Workers Comp Case?
Your employer is liable for all your medical expenses provided that they occurred following a work-related injury. This comprises any immediate expenses and others that are likely to be incurred in the future. You also qualify to receive compensation for any lost wages when you are incapable of working. However, on filing a claim, several issues may arise between you and your employer.
In some instances, the employer simply rejects the workers' benefits application. Whenever your employer denies being liable for your injuries, it is important to contact the Workers' Compensation Division immediately and request to talk to an ombudsman. Ideally, they will play the role of an arbitrator between you and your employer. Another option would be to contact a workers' compensation attorney to have the case handled in court. In this case, you have two years from the day of the accident to file the complaint.
In some instances, your employer might approve the claim but request that you resume work before you recover fully. Where the doctor advises that you take some time off your work duties, it is important that you rest at home for the recommended duration. It would be inappropriate to allow your employer to rush you back to work before you're fit enough. In case your employer compels you to resume your work duties before recuperating or against the doctor's advice, talk to an attorney to find out your options. Resuming your work duties before recovering fully may only aggravate your injuries.
If you're not sure whether your employer is fulfilling their obligation or acting within the law, contact us. There are laws put in place to protect you. Some of them are complicated, which might present loopholes for companies to exploit. As such, you need to work with a seasoned lawyer.
Can I be Fired for Filing a Workers Comp Claim in Alabama?
The Workers' Compensation Act of Alabama allows the exception of the “at-will” principle. The act states that no employee should be fired by an employer solely because the employee took legal action against the employer to claim workers' compensation benefits, or by the employer filing a written notice of contravening safety standards.
The word to note here is “solely”, which is the common language in courts during workers' compensation cases. Differently put, the retaliation claim might not stand where there are other reasons for firing the employee.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Employer for a Workplace Injury?
There are several instances where an Alabama worker reserves the right to sue their employer besides workers' compensation. Essentially, four bases make it possible to file a lawsuit in the case of a workers' compensation injury:
- The employer's failure to secure the proper workers' compensation insurance.
- Retribution for filing a workers' compensation claim.
- Deliberate action that causes injury.
- Sexual harassment.
Is there a Time Limit for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?
According to Alabama State laws, a person who suffers injuries while on the clock has two years after the day of injury to file a claim. It is, therefore, in your best interest to file your workers' compensation claim soonest.
How Much is My Alabama Workers' Comp Claim Worth?
The Alabama Workers' Compensation law provides for two benefits following an accident at the workplace – payment to cover medical costs and payment of two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you're not at work. In case you are unable to resume work or resume your duties with permanent limitations, the law provides for a lump sum payment dependent on either:
- Medical impairment
- Vocational limitation suffered
If the injuries suffered resulted from a third party's negligence and not necessarily the employer, you have a right to sue the third party and get the compensation that's not covered by the workers' compensation law.
Get In Touch With Our Talladega Workers Compensation Lawyers Today
In the event that you were injured while working, reach out to a workers' compensation attorney in Talladega, Alabama, immediately. A lawyer from the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers will ensure that your claim is handled in the right way. We'll also talk to your employer and their insurance company.
A key benefit to working with a lawyer is that in case your claim is denied, we'll move fast to file an appeal for you. Over the years, we've won millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and yours can be another win.
Contact our Talladega injury firm to schedule a free initial consultation today!