Mobile Workers’ Comp Lawyers
No matter the industry or job, there is always the risk of getting hurt. As a construction worker, you could get hit by a passing vehicle. If you work retail, you could be struck by a forklift or slip and fall on a slippery surface. If you work in health care, you could be hurt by a volatile patient. No matter how calm your work environment, something could go wrong. When it does, you expect your employer to help. Through an Alabama workers’ compensation claim you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical treatment and wage benefits.
If you incurred harm in a workplace accident, you should speak with the Mobile workers’ comp lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. about your right to benefits and the possibility of a third-party claim if someone from outside of your employer is responsible for your injuries. We are here to ensure you receive everything you deserve while you recover.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Mobile, AL
Workers’ comp insurance in Alabama is a no-fault insurance program meant to protect both workers and employers. It protects employees from bearing the full cost of a work-related injury and limits an employer’s legal liability for injuries workers suffer on the job. The Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers within the state that have five or more part or full-time employees to carry workers’ comp insurance.
If you are injured in a workplace accident in Mobile, and your employer provides workers’ comp insurance, then this is your option to have your medical expenses covered and to receive a portion of your wages while you are off work. This means you typically cannot sue your employer after you get hurt. For instance, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish are not available under the Workers’ Comp Act. However, there are situations in which you may have the right to sue your employer concerning a workplace accident and injury. If you are not provided with workers’ comp insurance when you should be, call a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Eligibility to File an On-the-Job Injury Claim
There are several factors that must be met for you to make a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits. To begin with, your employer has to provide workers’ comp insurance. If they do not, then you should speak with a workers’ comp lawyer immediately. You may have the right to file a legal claim against your employer workers’ comp doesn’t cover you.
To seek workers’ compensation benefits, your accident or condition must have arisen out of the course of your job. This is another way of saying the accident had to be related to your work and job duties. Workers’ comp does not cover injuries you sustain outside of work.
Finally, to receive workers’ comp benefits, you must provide your employer with proper notice, which means your employer has actual knowledge of your injuries. If you were hurt in a serious emergency accident at work, then your employer is deemed to be aware. If you were hurt in a minor, less-obvious, or non-emergency accident, then you should notify your supervisor, boss, or manager within five days of your injury. If you fail to inform your employer within 90 days, your employer or the insurer is likely to deny your claim.
How to File a Workman’s Comp Claim in Mobile, AL
Once your employer has official notice of your injury, it is their responsibility file a First Report of Injury with the state. From there, we encourage you to contact our experienced Mobile workers’ compensation lawyers to navigate the process and ensure you obtain the benefits and care you require.
Workers’ Comp Medical Benefits
One of the primary benefits of workers’ compensation insurance is coverage of all or most of your medical expenses. If your workers’ comp claim is approved, then the insurer will pay for all of your reasonably necessary medical care. This covers emergency room and hospital visits, diagnostic tests, sutures, surgeries, medical treatments, prescription medications, medical supplies like crutches, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and mileage to and from doctors’ appointments.
You need to be aware that Alabama law enables your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier to control where you seek medical treatment. Typically, this means you are assigned a specific physician or medical group from a list of options. Medicare outside of those provided may not be covered. Additionally, workers’ comp insurers will not pay for rare, unusual, or experimental treatments, but you can request a second opinion. In this situation, you need to contact our Mobile workers’ comp lawyers to help fight for your treatment. We can help you request an independent medical review to demonstrate that a certain treatment should be covered.
Workers’ Comp Wage Benefits
Another important workers’ comp benefit is weekly compensation or “indemnity” benefits. When you are out of work for weeks or months, you can receive a portion of your average wages each week. Your compensation is calculated by determining your average weekly wage for the 52 weeks prior to being injured. This is multiplied by 66.66 percent. If the amount falls within Alabama’s minimum and maximum benefit amounts, you will receive weekly compensation.
There are also other categories of indemnity payments that you could be entitled to: temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability. These options have their own qualifications, For example, if you are permanently or temporarily partially disabled, you can receive wage benefits for up to 300 weeks. If you are permanently or temporarily totally disabled, there is no time limit for how long you can receive compensation benefits.
Workers’ Comp Death Benefits
Workers’ compensation in Alabama also provides funeral, burial, and compensation benefits for men and women who lose their spouses in fatal workplace accidents. If your spouse was killed on the job, call Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. right away.
You may receive up to $6,500 for funeral and burial expenses. If your spouse left behind one dependent, such as if you had one child together, then you can receive 50 percent of your spouse’s average weekly wages. If your spouse left behind two more dependents, then you can receive 66.66 percent of your spouse’s average weekly wages.
Third-Party Claims Differ From Workers’ Comp
After you are hurt at work, you may have another potential legal claim that is separate from a workers’ comp claim.
Your workers’ comp claim is an insurance claim. It does not matter who is at fault for your accident and injuries, and although workers’ compensation insurance is beneficial, it may not cover all of your damages. If someone from outside of your employer caused your injuries, then you may have the right to file a third-party personal injury claim against that individual or their employer. Someone from outside of your employer may be an independent contractor, subcontractor, or other business on the same worksite. It could also be a stranger, pedestrian, driver, or disgruntled former employee who comes into your work environment and causes the accident.
Through workers’ comp, you can receive certain pre-determined benefits. A third-party claim is a lawsuit against a negligent party. Therefore, you can pursue additional compensation for various damages, including:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
When a third-party’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct causes you harm while you are working, you should contact Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. to guide you through obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Mobile Workers’ Comp Lawyers For Help Today
We know that you rely on your income, and suffering an injury at work puts your security in jeopardy. By working with the Mobile workers’ comp lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., you gain a dedicated team that knows how important it is for you to receive everything you are entitled to. We will take a close look at the accident and determine who was at fault. We will fight to obtain worker’s comp benefits, and If someone other than your employer is liable, we can also represent you in a third-party claim.