I just want to get better and go back to work
In this article, Mr. Hunts explains how during his months of medical treatment, he really wanted to return to his job. This sounds just like our workers’ compensation clients-they just want to get better and go back to work.
Somehow, a narrative has developed that those who seek workers compensation benefits are just trying to game the system and “live the good life.” For instance, not long ago I was reading an article in an insurance journal that said the following:
“Workers’ compensation fraud has been around, one way or another, since the first slacker hurled a spear at a woolly mammoth and then complained to the tribe leader he couldn’t go out on the next hunt because he hurt his back, when in reality he just wanted to hang around the cave, painting on the walls. A ‘free’ vacation long has been a motivation of workers’ compensation fraud, as is monetary rewards.”
This is nothing but “alternative facts.” In an effort to convince the general public that fraud in the field of workers compensation is rampant, workers compensation carriers are engaged in one of the most effective forms of propaganda–“the Big Lie.” The Big Lie is where a party strongly asserts a lie and then massages available data to show the lie is ‘true.’ Sorry to have to repeat myself, but the facts show the opposite is true.
Job injury claims are down and workers compensation insurance carriers’ profits are soaring. A study conducted in 2000 showed that only 1-2% of workers compensation claims filed in the United States are fraudulent. That means that conservatively speaking, well over 90% of all workers compensation claims are legitimate.
Moreover, less than 40% of legitimate workers comp claims are even filed, and more than 90% of job-related illnesses go uncompensated.
The FACT is that most workers compensation claims are never reported and hundreds of valid claims are denied by insurance carriers in an effort to protect their bottom line, at the expense of the injured worker and their families.
A “free vacation?” Heck, an injured worker receives NOTHING-Nada-$0-for the first three days they miss from work. On day 4 they begin receiving 2/3rds of their average weekly wage-meaning that if your average weekly wage is $100 you will receive $66.67 from workers comp. If the injured worker misses 21 days of work, then they are entitled to receive workers comp benefits for the first 3 days of work they missed. No one sane thinks that lying to get workers comp benefits will lead to “the good life.”
In Alabama, the amount an injured worker is entitled to receive while off work recovering from a job injury is capped at 2/3rd of their average weekly wage. This may seem o.k., until you realize that Alabama Power, your mortgage holder and everyone else expects you to pay 100% of your bills.
Additionally, the promise to prompt medical treatment is often nothing more than a theory as in Alabama, the workers compensation insurance carriers have increasingly availed themselves to any legal loophole to delay the injured worker from obtaining the reasonably necessary medical treatment the workers compensation carrier’s selected doctor says the injured worker needs.
Moreover, the amount an injured worker can receive for a permanent scheduled injury is capped at $220 a week. Did you know that in Alabama, if you lose both arms below the shoulder, the maximum amount of compensation you are legally entitled to receive is $220 a week for 400 weeks? That is less than the federal minimum wage.
Our clients didn’t want to get hurt at work; suffering a job injury was not something they concocted in order to “live the good life.” They really just want to get better and return to work so they can provide for themselves and their families-just like Mr. Hunts.
If you have suffered a work-related injury and you have questions about your right to Alabama Workers Compensation benefits, don’t hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Workers Compensation attorneys at Powell and Denny today.
Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can’t
Offices in Birmingham, 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 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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I just want to get better and go back to work