If you have been injured while at work in Alabama, you know how debilitating the physical pain can be to your day-to-day life. Paired with the income that you have lost if you have had to miss time from work to recover, an ordinary day at work can create a long-term nightmare, both physically and financially. Workers’ Compensation (sometimes referred to as “work comp” for short) benefits may be able to provide benefits to you after your injury, but applying for benefits is a task which should only be taken on by a professional. You shouldn’t try to fight a workers’ compensation case alone, and Norris Injury Lawyers and our Alabama personal injury attorneys are here to make sure that you don’t have to.
What to Know About Workers’ Compensation in Alabama
If you find yourself scratching your head when it comes to work comp benefits, you’re not alone. Workers’ compensation is a complicated system that can be confusing to those who have never had to take advantage of the system’s benefits.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Simply put, workers’ compensation is an insurance program which provides benefits to employees who suffer injuries or develop a disease while on the job. The insurance coverage is mandatory for most businesses, and those businesses who require workers’ compensation coverage cannot opt out of the coverage.
Workers’ compensation is also an exclusive remedy for injuries incurred on the job and diseases suffered as a result of a person’s work, meaning a person cannot sue his or her employer for these injuries or diseases.
What Kind of Benefits Can I Receive?
If you have suffered a workplace injury or disease, workers’ compensation benefits may provide financial compensation in the following forms:
- Temporary disability benefits: these benefits are paid to employees who find themselves missing more than 3 days of work due to their injuries. Temporary total disability benefits are paid when you are completely unable to work temporarily, while temporary partial disability benefits are awarded when you are able to work, but have a reduced earning potential due to your injury.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: if a part of your body such as a leg, eye, or arm is permanently disabled or disfigured, you can receive benefits for the loss of use of that body part. Determining the award you will receive depends on the body part that was disabled or disfigured.
- Permanent total disability benefits: if you are rendered permanently and totally disabled as a result of your workplace injury or illness and are unable to return to work, workers’ compensation will provide you with two-thirds of your average weekly salary.
- Medical benefits: workers’ compensation benefits will pay for medical expenses incurred in treating a workplace illness or injury.
- Death benefits: workers’ compensation benefits do not stop at the death of a person who suffered a workplace illness or injury; following the workers’ death due to such an illness or injury, the employee’s spouse or children can be eligible to receive benefits on behalf of the deceased employee. In addition to partial wages, surviving dependents of a deceased employee are eligible for funeral and burial expenses for their deceased loved one.
What to Do Following a Workplace Injury
After you have suffered a job-related injury or illness, it’s critical to know what steps to take in order to protect your interest and give yourself the best chances of being approved for workers’ compensation benefits.
Seek Medical Treatment
After you learn of your workplace injury or illness, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Obtaining prompt medical attention and following the doctor’s treatment plan is critical to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
Notify Your Employer of Your Injury Right Away
As soon as possible after your the onset of your injury or illness, you should report the incident to your employer. Time limits are put into place with regard to reporting injuries or illnesses to your employer, and after the time limit has expired, your claim for workers’ compensation benefits will be denied. In Alabama, a worker has only 5 days to report their injury.
Seek Assistance from a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Although workers’ compensation is meant to assist you after a workplace injury or illness, at the end of the day, it is still an insurance company. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the insurance company is on your side and will bend over backward to help you; to the contrary, it’s the insurance company’s job to reduce its bottom line and pay as little as possible toward your injury in order to maximize its own profits. It’s important to seek the help of an seasoned workers’ compensation attorney who knows how these insurance companies operate and can see through the games that the companies play.
Injured on the Job in Alabama? You Can Count On Us
While suffering a workplace injury can be a nightmare, finding the right attorney to help you obtain workers’ compensation benefits doesn’t have to be. At Norris Injury Lawyers, our team of attorneys has one goal in mind–providing quality representation to our clients and obtaining the best possible outcome. Don’t try to tackle a workers’ compensation claim alone; the stakes are high, and a denial can take a devastating toll on your life. To take the next step toward securing the representation you deserve, for the injuries you never should have suffered, fill out an online contact form or call (800) 477-7510 today.