Most people have questions about workers’ compensation. That is understandable; it can be a complex process. Below, we have provided answers to some of the questions we are asked most often. If you would like answers specific to your workers’ comp claim, please call our Birmingham office at or contact us online. Your consultation is free.

Can I see my own doctor?

No. You must see the doctor your employer chooses. If you are unhappy with this doctor, your attorney can write to your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. The workers’ compensation carrier will provide names of four doctors; you get to pick one of them. If the doctors are in the same office, you can request an additional doctor besides the original four listed.

When should I expect to receive my first check?

After the three-day waiting period, the disability period starts on the fourth day you are unable to work. Generally, payment should be received within 30 days after it is due.

What are PPI and PPD?

PPI, permanent partial impairment, is a rating given by your doctor based on guidelines set out by the American Medical Association. It describes the level of physical impairment.
PPD, permanent partial disability, denotes vocational disability, or the ability to perform your old job or another job. Your disability rating is what will determine the type and length of payments you will receive.

Will I have a jury trial?

No. If there are disputes, they will be heard by a circuit judge.

What is MMI?

MMI stands for maximum medical improvement, which is an assessment made by a doctor that states you are unlikely to make any further recovery. Once you reach MMI, your benefits may end, unless you receive a vocational disability rating that entitles you to additional benefits or a settlement.

What is the statute of limitation for a workers’ compensation claim?

Two years from the date of your injury or two years from the date of the last workers’ compensation payment for your lost time from work.

How is the workers’ average weekly wage (AWW) determined?

AWW is calculated using your wages for the 52 weeks prior to the injury. If you have not been employed for 52 weeks, your employer may base your AWW on an employee with the same or a similar job and wage. AWW is subject to the state’s maximum and minimum payments.