Workers’ Compensation in Alabama
Workers’ compensation (also referred to as workers’ comp, workmans compensation, workman’s comp, and work compensation) in Alabama gives workers injured on the job income and medical treatment while they recover from their injuries or occupational illnesses. If your boss has four or more employees, the State of Alabama requires him to have workers’ comp insurance for his workers, but not for independent contractors. Claims should be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations within two years of the accident.
Strongly consider hiring an Alabama work compensation lawyer if your claim is contested or if your employer is being uncooperative. Additionally, if your injury is serious and potentially long-term, or if your boss is uninsured of underinsured, advice of an Alabama workmans comp attorney is recommended to ensure that the claims process goes smoothly.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Alabama Workers’ Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- A worker’s accidental injuries (falling, tripping, slipping) fall under workers’ comp insurance in Alabama.
- There are some accidental employee injuries that are not covered by workman’s compensation insurance. These situations include when the worker’s own misconduct caused the injury, when the employee caused the accident because he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, when the act of a third party against the worker for personal reasons causes the accident, and/or when the worker refused to perform a statutory duty or willfully breaks his employer’s rules.
- Diseases that develop or that an employee contracts due to conditions at the workplace. These may include (non-exclusive) lung damage from toxic chemical exposure, carpal tunnel syndrome, radiation sickness, or asbestosis, among others.
- When a worker dies from death related sicknesses or injuries, the worker’s survivors may be entitled to death benefits.
The Alabama Worker’s Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- The boss must be notified of an employee’s injury within five days of the accident according to Alabama law. In no case may notice be given after 90 days. If you do not tell your employer about your injury you could lose your right to workman’s comp benefits.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- Your boss must file a First Report of Injury (WC Form 2) with the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. The claim must be filed within two years of your injury or you may not recover benefits for your injury or illness. This will mean the loss of income and medical benefits.
- If you require assistance with your claim, you should get in contact with an Alabama work compensation attorney.
Benefits Received in Alabama Under the Workers’ Compensation Program
An Alabama workers’ compensation lawyer can discuss with you the following work compensation benefits:
- Medical Treatment: Medical bills (physician, hospital, treatment) of an injured or sick worker are covered by workman’s compensation insurance. Insurance pays the healthcare provider.
- Wage Reimbursement: An employee traveling to and from medical appointments and hearings before the Workers’ Compensation Division may be reimbursed for the wages he loses during his travel time.
- Funeral: $3,000 for funeral expenses.
- Death: A worker’s dependents will receive death benefits for up to 500 weeks if the employee dies from his work-related injury or illness. If the worker has one dependent his dependent is paid 50% of the worker’s pre-accident average weekly wage each week. If the worker has two or more dependents, his dependents will receive weekly payments of 2/3 of his pre-accident average weekly wages. These weekly amounts are subject to statutory maximum and minimum amounts.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services provides retraining and aid finding employment to workers who have been injured and cannot return to their pre-accident jobs.
- Income Benefits (there are several kinds)
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): The employee is being treated for an occupation-related injury or illness and cannot work in any capacity. Weekly payments will be made to the worker at 2/3 the worker’s average weekly wage for 52 weeks prior to the accident.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): An injured worker whose injuries prevent him from performing his old job duties, but who can do some work. These benefits are paid out weekly at 2/3 the worker’s average weekly wage prior to the injury. Payments may only be made for 300 weeks.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): A worker is completely incapable for working because of the injury. 2/3 of the worker’s pre-accident average weekly wage will be paid each week. These payments will continue for an unlimited period of time.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): These benefits are disbursed when an employee has improved to his medical maximum, but his injury still impairs him in some way. Examples include a lost thumb, toe, arm, or leg. The employee gets 2/3 of his average wage per week prior to the accident for a period not to exceed 300 weeks.
Why Hire An Alabama Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
There could be dire consequences that affect your livelihood if your workman’s comp claim is rejected. An Alabama work compensation lawyer will be able to help you comprehend the workers’ comp procedure, file your paperwork on time, argue for you, and discuss your possible compensation alternatives while helping you formulate a course of action.
Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act
Provisions pertaining to Alabama workers’ are available at: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/CodeOfAlabama/1975/123309.htm
- Employers Subject To Workers’ Compensation
- Workers’ Compensation Act, Tit. 25, Chp.5 §1.
- Covered Employees
- Workers’ Compensation Act, Tit. 25, Chp.5 §1.
- Workers’ Compensation Act, Tit.25, Chp.5 §§57-69.
- Claims Procedure
- Workers’ Compensation Act, Tit. 25, Chp.5 §§78-85.