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Do Workers’ Compensation Laws violate Human Rights?

The attached article is about the United Nations looking at the Canadian Workers’ Compensation system to determine if their laws violate the Human Rights of Injured Workers.  Specifically, the U.N. is looking to The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.

Article 28(1) says that “State Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families … and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right without discrimination on the basis of disability.” The number of Canadians who end up living below the poverty line and on social assistance is the driving force behind this evaluation.

Canada’s workers’ compensation system is much better than Alabama’s; imagine what the U.N. would say about our antiquated laws.  Remember, if you suffer a catastrophic job injury-such as losing both arms below the shoulders–in Alabama you are only legally entitled to receive $220 a month for 400 weeks–the American Taxpayer picks it up from there through our Social Security Disability laws and programs.

The workers compensation system was set up so that lawyers would only be needed to help a worker who suffered a catastrophic injury and might not be able to return to their old job, or to any other type of employment; but, today in Alabama workers have to fight just to have a MRI performed. This is not hyperbole. We have filed suit for clients several times where the doctor the workers compensation insurance carrier told our client to see ordered a MRI, but the insurance carrier refused to comply with the doctor’s request. We filed suit to ensure that the worker receives the treatment the law states they are entitled to receive so they can recover and get back to work as soon as possible.

You have to remember that insurance companies are corporate entities; no, they are not “people.” People have feelings and a moral guide, companies are profit driven and owe no duty to anyone but their shareholders. Their shareholders make more money if the insurance carrier keeps more money, and the insurance companies keep more money by being less than forthcoming when it comes to the rights of injured workers in Alabama.

Not everyone who calls our offices ends up hiring us to represent them. In certain situations we are able to answer the injured workers’ questions and give some free advice (for instance, we have a book which explains workers compensation cases available for free if you request it). In other cases, the worker decides that they want someone to help them; the choice is yours, but it is smart to at least call a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer with the questions you have.

If you were hurt at work and you have questions about your right to Alabama Workers Compensation benefits, please do not hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Workers Compensation Lawyers at Powell and Denny.

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Offices in Hoover, AL and Huntsville, AL


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 5 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.

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    Birmingham, Alabama 35226
    Phone: 205-978-2051
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    Phone: 256-705-3510
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