Birmingham Workers Compensation Lawyers I just want to be treated fairly: As we mentioned in our blog yesterday, a large percentage of injured workers who call us do so because they do not believe that they are being treated fairly by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Most of these complaints center over the difficulty they experience trying to receive the medical treatment the authorized treating physician said they needed in order to recover from their injury, but a lot of injured workers call us after receiving a settlement from the workers compensation insurance adjuster which they do not believe is fair.
Many times we have received a call from an injured work who, as a result of the injuries their work injury, is no longer able to perform their previous work, who one day opens a letter from workers comp and finds out that they are being offered $x to settle their case. The injured worker does not know how the workers’ compensation system works or how much they are legally entitled to receive, but they know that the amount does not seem fair. If the worker is unable to perform their previous job due to the injuries they sustained in their work injury, they are typically correct in their assessment.
Injured workers must keep in mind that the workers compensation insurance carrier does not have a legal responsibility to explain to them what their rights are under Alabama’s workers compensation laws, and if they can take advantage of the injured worker’s lack of knowledge, then they usually will.
Alabama law has a schedule which sets the value of an injury to specific body parts (finger, hand, arm, toes, feet and legs) and to non-scheduled body parts (head, neck, shoulders, back, hip or injuries which effects the effective functioning of your body). You are entitled to monetary compensation based on the permanent injury you have suffered to said body part, but you may also be entitled to additional monetary benefits.
If you suffered a permanent physical impairment to a non-scheduled body part and you can no longer perform your job or earn the same amount of money, then you are entitled to vocational benefits (click here for more information on vocational benefits). Additionally, if you have sustained a permanent injury due to a work injury, then you are entitled to reasonably necessary medical care for the rest of your life for your injury as long as your problems are related to your work injury.
If you go ahead and settle your claim on your own with the workers’ compensation carrier, the language contained in the settlement is vitally important, and again, you are assumed to understand what you are signing. For instance, if a settlement states the settlement covers “any and all” rights under workers compensation, then that means that you are agreeing to close your right to future medical care along with any vocational benefits you may be entitled to receive.
If you have suffered a work injury 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 Birmingham Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Powell and Denny today.
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