If you get hurt at work, you may be entitled to workers comp benefits. An experienced Birmingham workers’ compensation lawyer can help you ensure that your claim is handled properly. They’ll also make sure you aren’t forced back to work before you’re ready.
There are a few basic things you have to do if you have a work accident. If you don’t follow the rules perfectly, your entire claim could be denied. And, if your claim is denied, it’s not very easy to appeal. The appeals process also takes a long time. You’ll have no way to pay your bills while you wait.
It’s important that you do the following if you get hurt at work:
- Report the accident to your supervisor immediately
- Make sure Human Resources is aware of your injuries
- Seek medical treatment right away from a company approved doctor
- Take a drug test if it’s required by your employer
- Call a Birmingham workers compensation lawyer
If you do all of these things, chances are, your claim will be approved. There is no guarantee. Your claim could be denied for some other reason.
If you want to protect your rights under workers comp in Alabama, you really want to retain an Alabama workers’ compensation lawyer. Call the experts at HWNN today to get experienced professionals on your side.
Your Workers Compensation Attorney Will Make Sure You Receive Your Benefits
If you qualify for workers comp benefits, you’ll receive medical care while you’re waiting to go back to work. You’ll also receive replacement wages. In Alabama, you’re entitled to the following benefits if you’re injured on the job:
- If you’re deemed to have suffered a temporary partial disability, you’ll receive ⅔ of your average weekly benefits. You’ll be paid weekly. Payments are not to exceed 300 weeks.
- If you’re considered permanent partial disability, you’ll still receive ⅔ of your average weekly income. However, there is no limit to how long you’ll receive your benefits.
- The maximum weekly amount you can receive is $832.
- The minimum amount you can receive per week is $229.
Most workers comp cases don’t go on for the 300 weeks. And very few go on for the unlimited duration. Most cases settle long before then.
Most Workers Compensation Claims Settle
Very few cases go on for more than a year or two. Once it gets to that point, it makes more sense to settle. Your settlement amount will depend on how bad you were hurt. It also depends on what part of your body is injured.
Everybody part is given a dollar value. For example, your back is worth more than your hand. And, your hand may be worth more than your hearing. It depends on what kind of work you did prior to your work accident.
In Birmingham Alabama, the courts would rather you settle your claim than have it drag on for years and years. It’s better for the insurance companies and the employees.
Your employer is also more willing to settle a claim than hold your job indefinitely. They pay for insurance. If an employee is permanently disabled, he probably won’t be able to work anytime soon. It makes more sense for the employer to work out a settlement than dragging the case on and on.
Once your workers’ comp case settles, you can’t go back to the employer for more money. For example, if you end up with additional medical bills down the road, there’s nothing you can do about it. Your settlement money is intended to be used for this purpose.
Your Birmingham Attorney Knows the Workers Compensation Laws in Alabama
One reason you want to rely on an experienced workers comp lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama is that they know the laws. They know what the requirements are to qualify for workers compensation.
In order to receive workers comp benefits, you have to meet the following:
- You must be working at the time you get hurt or realize you’re sick
- You must be doing work that’s within the scope of your employment at the time of your injury. For example, if you’re a waitress at a bar but get hurt carrying cases of beer in, there may be an issue. Unless your employer told you to unload the truck, your claim may be denied. Your boss can claim that you weren’t hired to do that work. Your Alabama workers compensation lawyer will challenge these claims.
- You must show that you were actually injured
- Your attorney has to prove that you can no longer do your job. If you’re a secretary and you hurt your ankle, it’ll be hard to convince a court that you can’t do your job.
- Your injury must not be caused by a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition won’t automatically disqualify you from getting workers comp. However, your employer may claim that your job isn’t responsible for your injuries.
Whether or not your injury could prevent you from doing your job depends on the type of injury you suffer.
What are the Most Common Types of Work Injuries?
Certain injuries are more common in work accidents than others. People who do physical labor are going to be more likely to be injured. This is because they’re lifting heavy objects and subjecting their body to stress all the time.
Some of the more common injuries we see with workers comp cases include:
- Back Injuries – You may suffer a muscle strain or disc issues. You could even suffer a spinal cord injury
- Brain injuries – If you sustain a traumatic brain injury, you should qualify for workers comp
- Neck Injuries – You could suffer a tendon tear or even a broken neck
- Knee Injuries – You may tear your ACL or meniscus. Both will require surgery and physical therapy
- Hip injuries – You may break your hip or suffer muscle strains
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – There are other repetitive stress injuries, but the most common type is carpal tunnel
- Occupational Illnesses such as cancer, respiratory infections, etc.
Some of these injuries may keep you out of work for months or years. Others may have you back in commission in no time at all. You have to miss at least three weeks of work in order to apply for workers’ comp. Anything less than that and you’re expected to use your personal time to cover your wages.
Your Workers Comp Claim May Be Denied
Most workers compensation claims are paid without any issue. It’s only when there’s a question as to the legitimacy of your injuries that the employer may deny your claim.
Some of the more common reasons a claim may be denied are:
- You were using drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident. Most if not all employers are going to deny your claim in these situations. Some companies have programs that employees can take advantage of if they’re willing to go to treatment. However, if drugs and alcohol played a role in your accident, you probably won’t receive benefits.
- You weren’t working at the time of your injury – If you were off the clock or not on work property, your claim is not going to be covered. For example, if you were on lunch and got hurt crossing the street to your work, you won’t be eligible for workers comp.
- You were terminated prior to your injury – If you are terminated from your job prior to getting hurt, your claim won’t be paid. Let’s say you get fired and punch a wall on your way out. You can’t then file a workers comp claim to get your hand treated.
- You were doing something outside the scope of your employment at the time of your accident, you may not be covered. Not all employers are very strict on this rule. If you can show that you were normally asked to do the same task, you’ll be eligible for benefits. Or, if you were just trying to help your employer, they probably won’t deny your claim.
Contact a Birmingham Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
If you get hurt at work, you need to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Birmingham today. Your attorney can make sure your claim is handled right. They can also stay in touch with your employer and their insurance company.
The other good thing about having your attorney is if your claim is denied. They may have to file an appeal on your behalf. This is not something you want to handle yourself. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for clients through both lawsuits and settlements, let us do the same for you.
Call us at (855)965-1688 and schedule your risk-free initial consultation today. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until your case settles.