You may not know what the phrase “workers’ compensation” refers to, but if you or someone you care about has been hurt at work* while working in Alabama, then you are entitled to benefits under Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Statute.
Workers’ compensation claims arise from situations where workers are hurt at work, and workers’ comp claims are not like other personal injury claims. In most personal injury claims a person can ask a jury for money to cover a multitude of things, including money for pain and suffering. For the most part, these damages are not available to Alabama workers who are injured while performing their job duties. Workers who were hurt at work in Alabama are restricted to recovery based upon the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Statute.
On January 1, 1920, Alabama became one of the last States to adopt a workers’ compensation statute. In a nut-shell, Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Statute gets rid of liability based on fault in job related injuries and instead approaches the injury in a no-fault manner. Now, instead of an injured worker having to prove that his employer was negligent in some duty owed him (and showing that they were totally blame free), all a worker has to show is that (i) he/she suffered were hurt at work (ii) while performing their job duties and (iii) that timely notice of said injury was provided to their employer. In Alabama, if a worker can show this, then their employer must pay for (a) all of the workers’ reasonably necessary medical treatment, (b) reimburse the worker for mileage in driving back and forth for medical treatment or to receive medications; (c) pay the worker 2/3rds of their average weekly wage when off work pursuant to the advice of a physician treating them for their job injuries (until the date they reach maximum medical improvement) and (d) pay compensation to the injured worker for any permanent physical impairment sustained as a result of an on-the-job injury. In exchange for forcing the employer to bear the financial burden when an employee is injured at the job site, the injured worker gives up certain rights and benefits-including the right to compensation for pain and suffering.