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Alabama Job Injury Attorney ARAWC

Alabama Job Injury Attorney ARAWC

Alabama Job Injury Attorney ARAWC: We have written about how Walmart, Lowes, Nordstrom and other large corporations are financing a lobbing group-The Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers' Compensation-whose sole purpose is to undermine workers compensation laws in the United States (click here for said post).

ARAWC has already helped push through draconian "reforms" in workers compensation laws in Texas and Oklahoma, bills are ready in Tennessee and South Carolina, and they have said that Alabama is one of the next States they intend to attack next, and this worries me.

I predict that within the next year we will hear Legislators in Alabama talking about "reforming" Alabama's Workers' Compensation system, but I fear that ARAWC will be drawing up the talking points, and the State we will probably hear about the most is Texas.

We all heard from then Governor Perry in his run for the Republican Presidential nomination talk about the economic dynamo in Texas. Since 2003, nearly a third of the net new jobs created in the U.S. happened in Texas, and one of the factors they claim helped Texas job growth explode was the changes they made to Texas' workers compensation system. The purpose of this and my next blog is to, as Paul Harvey used to say, provide the "rest of the story."

Part of the changes Texas made to their workers compensation system was to allow private businesses to decide not to carry workers compensation insurance to cover their employees should they suffer a job injury. Instead, they are now allowed to draw up their own coverage plan, which an employee must accept prior to being hired.

These plans cap the amount of medical bills an employer has to pay for an injury, regardless of how badly the worker is injured. Who picks up the remaining bills and pays for the additional needed medical care? The taxpayers. What if an injured worker is fired in retaliation for seeking these job injury benefits? Nothing they can do about it, as Texas law only makes it illegal for companies covered under the Texas workers compensation system to fire a worker for seeking workers compensation benefits. According to one report I read, only 41% of these plans include coverage for death benefits should a worker be killed in a job accident. What happens to the family they left behind?

Additional food for thought, Texas has led the nation in worker fatality for 7 of the last 10 years. Does this sound like the kind of change we need in Alabama?

We will probably hear that only slightly over 15% of all employers in Texas have chosen to opt out of the State workers compensation system, but that accounts for over 1 million workers. That is 1 million workers and their families left without the protection workers compensation laws provide. Maybe this is one reason why from 2001-2014, the percentage of Texans receiving Social Security Disability benefits has climbed from 3.5 percent to 5.2 percent-which equates to an additional 375,726 former workers now receiving government disability checks.

I am sure that the profits from those businesses that chose to opt out of the Texas workers compensation system are higher than ever, but at what cost?

In our next blog we will discuss what has happened to the other workers in Texas who are still part of their workers compensation system.

If you were hurt at work in Alabama, and you have questions about your right to Alabama workers' compensation benefits, don't hesitate to contact and talk to one of the experienced Alabama Job Injury Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can't

Offices in Huntsville, AL and Hoover, AL

Alabama Job Injury Attorney ARAWC

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