Workers Compensation Attorneys in Auburn
Workplace injuries are shockingly common in the United States, leaving thousands of workers with minor, serious, or even fatal injuries every single year. From 2018 to 2019, fatal workplace injuries increased 2%, reflecting a total of more than 5,300 fatalities.
Injuries put employees in a difficult position. They want to get the care they need, but often worry if seeking workers’ compensation will put their job in jeopardy. The loss of income often leaves them unable to meet their financial obligations or care for their families.
If you’ve suffered an injury at work, learn more about your options for seeking compensation. To discuss your accident with one of our attorneys, call Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short at 334-821-3892.
Workers’ Rights Following an Accident
A worker who is injured on site maintains the right to bring forth a workers’ compensation claim. This process is initiated by providing one’s employer with a notice of the injury; afterward, the employer should notify the workers’ compensation insurer, which will kickstart the process. A worker has the right to seek compensation for the full value of their necessary medical expenses through workers’ compensation, as well as a portion of their lost wages if their injury prevents them from being able to return to work. Because the workers’ compensation process can be complicated, and because workers are often denied the benefits they deserve, partnering with a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer is always advised.
Workers’ Compensation in Alabama
The Alabama Department of Labor oversees the Workers’ Compensation Division, which handles workers’ compensation payments for injured workers. Per Alabama law, any business with five or more employees must carry workers’ compensation coverage. This does not include businesses that only have contractors. To receive compensation, injured employees must follow the proper protocols.
To get a workers’ compensation claim started, you must first report the injury to your direct supervisor or manager. Most employers have their own paperwork for workplace injuries, which lays the groundwork for a workers’ compensation claim. Technically, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you should report your injury immediately.
You should seek care from your employer’s chosen primary care provider except in case of an emergency. Under Alabama law, care is directed by the workers’ compensation insurance provider or the employer—not the injured employee. After seeing your employer’s chosen primary care doctor, they may refer you to a specialist.
There is a three-day waiting period before you begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Once your claim is approved, you receive 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage. There are set minimum and maximum amounts in Alabama that change annually. Currently, the maximum is $920, and the minimum is $253.
Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims
There are a number of reasons that a workers’ compensation claim may be denied. The employer or insurance provider may believe that:
- The injury was falsified
- The injury did not occur at work
- The injury is not as severe as reported
- The injury was intentional
- The applicant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Once your claim has been denied, it’s time to reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney and push back. Employers often deny claims, knowing that employees may not be aware of their rights. When you’re going up against an employer more interested in decreasing their insurance premiums than doing what is right for their employees, you need an advocate. Workplace accidents can be very complicated, and you risk losing your right to seek compensation if you wait too long.
Third Party Claims After a Workplace Accident
The workers’ compensation system has its benefits, however, it does not provide full compensation for an employee’s losses after a workplace accident.
It only pays partial wages and medical bills through an approved provider. This leaves injured employees on the hook for the rest of their lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to an accident.
In some cases, a third-party accident claim may help an injured employee get the full compensation they deserve. Under workers’ compensation law, an employee cannot bring a personal injury claim against their employer or someone employed by their company. However, if a third party is liable for their injuries, they can file a personal injury claim against that individual or party.
Choose Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short for Your Workplace Injury Claim
The team at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short has helped numerous clients fight for the compensation they deserve after a workplace accident. Let’s work together and create a plan to help you recover from a workplace injury. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 334-821-3892 or contact us online.