Basics to Alabama Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you work in Alabama and have suffered a work injury, chances are you are not sure what your rights are to workers compensation benefits or how to go about protecting your rights. You probably don’t know a lawyer to ask either (I didn’t know any lawyers until I became one). With this in mind, we are posting this blog to provide some basic information.
The first question we have to ask is do you have a compensable claim, as in Alabama+, there are certain hurdles which must be cleared to have a valid workers compensation claim. First, you must be an employee of the defendant; full time or part time-it doesn’t matter. As long as your employer has 5 or more workers regularly employed, then by law they are supposed to have workers compensation coverage. The second hurdle you must clear is (i) showing that you suffered a job injury (ii) while performing your job duties. Injuries cause by goofing off or willful misconduct are not covered (however, a positive drug test does not mean that you are automatically disqualified).
Next, you must inform your employer of the fact that you suffered a job injury and need medical treatment within a certain time frame. Per Alabama law, as long as you inform you employer of these facts within 90 days, you have met the notice requirement, but it is always safest to inform your employer as soon as possible. Once you have informed your employer of these facts, your employer has an obligation to report your job injury to the Alabama Department of Labor. Last, you must be able to show that the injury you are complaining of was the result of your job injury. If you had a preexisting condition which was made worse as the result of a job injury, the worsened injury will most likely be covered.
If you have suffered a compensable Alabama job injury, then under our workers compensation law, you have certain rights and benefits. Of primary importance is your right to medical treatment. By law, your employer and their workers compensation insurance carrier must pay for any and all reasonably necessary medical treatment-but you do need to see the doctor they send you to.
If you have to miss more than 3 days from work as the result of your job injury, starting on day 4 you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits (ttd)-this is 2/3rds of your average weekly wage; if you miss over 21 days, then you are paid ttd benefits for the first 3 days as well (it doesn’t make sense, but it is the law). If you are able to continue working, but at less hours/less pay, then you are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits (tpd) for the time period in question.
You are also entitled to mileage reimbursement covering the miles you have to drive to see the doctor, for physical therapy, or to go the pharmacy. If you have suffered a permanent injury, you are entitled to compensation for the extent of your permanent injury. If you suffer a permanent injury to your back, shoulders, neck, hips or suffer a pain syndrome (such as RSD or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) that affects the functioning of your body as a whole and you can no longer perform your job duties or make the same type of money, then you are entitled to vocational benefits. You are also entitled to have your employer pay for your reasonably necessary medical treatment for the rest of your life as long as your condition is not made worse by some intervening accident.
If you or someone you know has been hurt at work and have questions about your rights under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Law, please don’t hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Powell and Denny for a free consultation; and remember, Zoom virtual meetings are now available.
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Offices in Birmingham, AL and Huntsville, Alabama
Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 6 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 3 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry.
Mr. Denny is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard (the highest rating possible) and Mr. Powell has been rated as Superior by The National Registry
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+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented injured workers from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen and towns and cities in between.
Basics to Alabama Workers’ Compensation Benefits