To make a claim under workers' compensation law, a worker must have suffered an injury caused by an on-the-job accident. Workers' Compensation is a very complex law designed to provide a set of automatic benefits to injured workers. Unfortunately, it does not always adequately help the injured worker and has many loopholes that companies can use to avoid or delay benefits to the injured worker. The attorneys at the Sellers Law Firm can help you if your workers' compensation benefits have been denied or delayed.
Under Workers' Comp, an injured or disabled worker is entitled to:
- 100% of medical bills paid (when treatment is provided by an authorized doctor);
- 2/3 of weekly wage (while taken out of work by a doctor's order);
- Additional compensation for injuries causing partial disability or total disability.
In Alabama, an injured worker has two years from the date of injury, or from the date of receipt of a payment for temporary total disability within which to file a workers' compensation lawsuit. If the lawsuit is not filed within 2 years, the injured worker is forever barred from recovering.
To collect Workers' Compensation there are two strict conditions:
Step 1: Report the Injury
When you are injured on the job it is important that you notify your supervisor immediately. In most cases, you must report your injury within 5 days of the accident. A First Report of Injury should be completed by your employer and filed with the Department of Industrial Relations in Montgomery, Alabama. A delay in notifying your supervisor and properly reporting your injury jeopardizes your claim.
Step 2: See the Company Doctor
In most cases, when an employee is injured on the job, treatment will be provided by an authorized doctor. The authorized doctor will be responsible for your diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the common problems we encounter in Workers' Compensation cases are that the worker does not receive satisfactory care from the company doctor, the Workers' Comp insurance company will not cover the injury, or the insurance company will not pay the benefits the worker is entitled to receive.
Just because you were hurt while working does not mean you cannot sue a "third party" that caused your injuries. For example, you may be injured in an automobile accident while on the job. If this is the case, it is important to obtain the advice of a lawyer. Workers Compensation will cover your medical expenses and lost wages, but you can still collect from the driver that hit you.