Rights of Injured Workers in Alabama’s Auto Plants
Alabama is the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks in the nation. Our state is home to vehicle assembly plants for Hyundai, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz as well as an engine assembly plant for Toyota. There is also a growing list of automotive supply manufacturers such as Fleetwood Metals, Johnson Controls, Lear, Kamtek, Topre, Mando, and North American Lighting.
While Alabama’s auto industry brings tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to our state, there is also an inherent danger in working around machinery and carrying out repetitive motions on a daily basis.
If you have been injured in an Alabama auto plant or had a loved one killed, you may have a right to collect benefits and compensation. This is the case whether the accident was sudden or due to a stress that was placed on your body repetitively over time.
The attorneys at Burge & Burge, PC are experienced at protecting injured workers rights under the state of Alabama workers compensation statute. We understand auto industry accidents and injuries and have experience dealing with large corporations.
Serious Work Injuries Suffered at Auto Plants
If you work in the auto industry in Alabama, you know that these jobs are both well-paying and labor-intensive. Each of these major auto plants employs thousands of employees who put their health and safety on the line each day to do difficult work and earn an honest living.
Auto plant injuries are numerous and varied. A worker might be injured due to a blunt force trauma or from having a body part tangled in a piece of machinery. Injuries happen due to slips, falls from heights, and overexertion. Repetitive motion injuries are also common in the automotive industry. Many jobs require that workers either stand all day, complete the same tasks over and over, or both.
Illness From TDI Exposure
Another way that an Alabama auto plant employee can become injured due to their job is from exposure to dangerous chemicals. This is precisely what has allegedly occurred at the Renosol Seating plant in Selma.
Renosol makes foam cushions for Hyundai car seats and headrests. Both current and former employees of the company have reported developing shortness of breath, chronic coughs, sinus infections, and bronchitis since beginning work at Renosol. The cushions that the company makes contain a chemical called toluene diisocyanate, or TDI. According to some academic literature, isocyanates such as TDI are often the cause of workplace-induced asthma.
While a judge dismissed the first worker’s lawsuit for TDI without citing a reason, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has now become involved in inspecting plants and creating a program to protect workers.
Safety Hazards Present in the Alabama Auto Industry
Recently, the number of injuries and claims from southern auto plants has attracted the attention of the federal government. As of 2014, OSHA is now targeting auto industry plants in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia for increased scrutiny and more comprehensive inspections.
Benefits Available to Injured Auto Plant Workers
A worker injured in an auto plant injury is entitled to several types of benefits under the state’s worker’s compensation program. Alabama worker’s compensation pays for medical care, physical therapy, prescription medications, and replacement of lost income if you are unable to work. These benefits are available to you regardless of fault in an accident.
The rate of payment for wage replacement will depend on your gross wage amount at the time of injury, subject to the maximum allowable by law. Depending on the type and extent of your injury, you may also be eligible for rehabilitation benefits and some form of permanent disability benefits.
Appeals of Wrongful Claim Denials
Have you been injured at your Alabama auto plant job and had a claim for benefits denied? If so, you aren’t alone. Thousands of legitimately injured workers each year find themselves running up against a brick wall when they attempt to claim benefits for which they are legally entitled.
Our aggressive and experienced worker’s compensation attorneys have vast experience in dealing with employers, their insurance companies, and their defense firms. These parties simply want you to either go away or get back to work so that they don’t have to take responsibility for your injuries. We will fight for your legal rights with the appropriate appeals on your behalf.
Have You Been Injured in an Alabama Auto Plant Accident?
Getting hurt at work is often a stressful experience. You’re faced with taking time away from your job to seek medical care and with fears about lost income. While you are entitled to benefits by state law, it would be a mistake to believe that collecting everything you are due is a walk in the park. On the contrary, most employers and their worker’s compensation carriers are only concerned with saving money.
This is why having a skilled and knowledgeable attorney in your corner is so important. An attorney can ensure that you get the medical care you need as well as the benefits you deserve. If there is a question about the validity of your case, we will assemble the evidence necessary and pursue your claim in the courts if needed. If a third party was responsible for all or part of your injury, we can help pursue damages in that case as well.
Our Alabama Work Injury Attorneys Are Ready to Help
Your employer has the responsibility to provide a workplace that is both safe and free of any known hazards. Unfortunately, profits sometimes get in the way of safety, and employees get hurt or even killed.
If you have been injured in an Alabama auto plant or a loved one killed, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The Alabama worker’s compensation attorneys at Burge & Burge will fully explain your legal rights, fight to protect those rights, and work hard on your behalf to secure the highest level of benefits and settlement possible for your case. Contact our office today at 205-545-8291 or 877-388-3749 to schedule a free consultation.