Alabama Workers Comp Questions: (1) Do I have a Claim? In Alabama, for an injured worker to have a compensable workers’ compensation claim, several hurdles have to be cleared. First, the injured worker must actually be an employee of the defendant. While this may sound simple, at times huge battles erupt between defendant’s over who actually employed an injured worker. As a rule of thumb, whomever directs you in when and how you perform your job duties will be considered your employer.
Second, your employer must be subject to Alabama’s workers’ compensation laws. In Alabama, an employer has to have 5 or more employees regularly employed to fall under our workers’ compensation system. Employees of the State of Alabama must seek compensation through another system set up for State employees.
Third, you must show that (i) you suffered an on-the-job injury (ii) while performing your job duties for your employer. Injuries caused by a worker goofing off, being engaged in horse play or injuries caused by the worker being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are not considered injuries sustained while performing your job duties and are not covered. However, since Alabama’s workers’ compensation laws are no-fault in nature, the fact the injured worker accidentally contributed to his injury does not prevent him from seeking and receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Forth, the injured worker has an obligation to inform his employer that he has suffered a work related injury. In Alabama, a worker has up to 90 days in which to inform his employer about a job injury and an oral report is just as valid a reporting means as a detailed written report. Having stated this, it is always best to report a potential job injury as soon as possible.
Lastly, the injured worker has to show that the injury they are complaining from was the result of the job accident they suffered. Oft times this can be a difficult thing to show. If a worker falls off a scaffold, landing in front of his boss, suffering a compound fracture, showing that the job accident led to the compound fracture is easy. What may be difficult is showing that the fall also caused the worker to suffer a herniated disc in their neck-especially if the worker had a history of neck pain
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Alabama Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
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