Workers Comp Attorney in Fairfield, AL
When you get injured at work, a million questions go through your mind. Will you get fired for costing the company money? How will you get the medical care you need? What about paying the rest of your bills while you’re unable to work?
This is why the workers’ compensation system was developed. Every state has the freedom to create its own system that protects employees and employers alike, allowing employees to get fair compensation when they are hurt at work.
If you’ve suffered injuries during the normal course of your work, you’re likely entitled to workers’ compensation. Set up a consultation with Burge & Burge now by calling us at 205-251-9000.
How Workers’ Compensation Works in Alabama
The workers’ compensation system in Alabama protects millions of employees. With over 30,000 reported injuries every year, the system works to protect employees from injuries that are their fault, their employers’ fault, or no one’s fault. The system provides workers with partial wage replacement and full coverage of medical expenses. Under Alabama law, employers with at least five employees must have workers’ compensation coverage. This includes part-time workers, LLC members, and corporate officers.
Workers’ and Employers’ Rights
The primary reason for workers’ compensation in Fairfield is to benefit workers. Workers expose themselves to certain dangers every day at work. Daycare workers risk getting bitten or throwing their back out while picking up a child, construction workers risk having debris dropped on them from scaffolding, and lab workers risk coming into contact with dangerous chemicals. However, workers’ compensation was built on the idea that workers shouldn’t bear the burden of those risks.
In the past, employers had little incentive to provide a safe workplace for employees. When employees would get injured, they would take unpaid time off of work and be forced to cover their own expenses. Since the employers took on none of the risk, they had plenty of reasons to prioritize speed and efficiency over safety. With the workers’ compensation system, employers have to pay for workers’ compensation insurance.
However, the workers’ compensation system does not just benefit workers. It is also beneficial for employers. While employers were able to cut some corners in terms of employee safety, they were also legally exposed. If an employee was injured because an employer took unnecessary risks or did not provide a safe work environment, they could bring a personal injury suit against the employer. This could bankrupt a business. With the workers’ compensation system, employers are shielded from personal injury suits.
Workers’ Comp Benefits
When a worker is injured, their average wages are calculated for the 52 weeks prior to their injury. That number is multiplied by 66 2/3% to determine how much they will get paid weekly. Currently, the maximum workers’ compensation payout in Alabama is $920 per week.
The amount of time you can claim benefits depends on which type of claim you have. Permanent and temporary total disability claims do not have a time limit. The time limit is 300 weeks for permanent partial body and temporary partial disability. When a workplace injury results in death, the family receives benefits for 500 weeks. The surviving family receives half of the employee’s average wages if the employee had one dependent and they receive 66 2/3% if the employee had more than one dependent.
Medical benefits also outline what type of care an employee may receive. Although the employee can receive all appropriate care for their injury, the employer or insurance carrier is the party in charge of treatment. If the initial care provider refers the employee to another physician or specialist, the employer must approve that physician.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury in Fairfield, AL
Taking the proper steps after a workplace injury makes it easier to get the benefits you deserve. Take these steps after an injury:
- Report the injury to your supervisor or manager. The earlier you report an accident to your manager, the easier it is for them to document it properly and help you get the treatment you need. Before you sign any paperwork, make sure you aren’t signing away your right to seek workers’ compensation.
- Jot down your version of events. Take notes on what happened, who witnessed the accident, and how you were injured. These details will slip away in the days and weeks following an accident.
- Get a medical checkup. It is crucial to get your injury checked out as soon as possible. This links your injuries to the workplace accident and ensures that you know what your treatment options are. Your employer should provide you information on which clinic to attend to have the visit covered by workers’ comp.
- File a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer should provide you the documents and forms needed to file for workers’ compensation. Generally, filing for workers’ compensation is a quick, straightforward task.
- Reach out to an attorney. If your claim gets denied, your employer does not let you file, or you get pressure from your employer to skip your workers’ compensation claim, it’s time to talk to an attorney. You are entitled to workers’ compensation under most circumstances, and if your employer is pressuring you to skip out on the benefits you are owed, you need to assert your rights.
Why You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Fairfield, AL
While workers’ compensation is meant to be a simple system that protects employees and employers alike, there will always be insurance providers and employers that try to save money by denying employees their rights. You could be falsely accused of faking your injury or reporting a non-workplace injury as a workplace injury.
Your insurance provider could downplay the severity of your injury or claim that you aren’t entitled to compensation because no one saw the accident. Whatever the reason for the delay in your benefits, this is the last thing you need when you are dealing with the stress of a workplace accident. Our team of attorneys will go to bat for you and help you get what you are owed.
Discuss Your Options with Burge & Burge Now
If you’re struggling to get the workers’ comp benefits you deserve, let our team help you out. Call us at 205-251-9000 or get in touch with us online to set up a consultation right away. We look forward to serving you!