Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Dothan
If an employee in Alabama gets injured on a job site or in the course of their duties, he or she may have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These are available to most Alabama workers and provide coverage for things like medical expenses and lost wages that result after a person has an on-the-job accident that causes injury. In most cases, workers can collect benefits regardless of who is at fault. There are some exceptions to the no-fault provision, however, and the claims process is not always as straightforward as it should be. There are often complications that can hold things up. To ensure that you understand all your legal rights and options, it is best to speak with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney.
Getting Legal Assistance
An Alabama employer with more than five employees is required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance that will provide coverage for injured employees. Unfortunately, injured employees are often offered a compensation package that is significantly less than what they are entitled to. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer works on behalf of the injured worker, seeing to it that they receive fair compensation that is enough to help them begin to rebuild their lives after a traumatic incident.
At M. Adam Jones and Associates, we have several decades of experience standing up for the working people of Alabama. We understand the struggles employees often facing trying to navigate the complex and confusing workers’ compensation process, and we fight hard to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for their injuries. There is no excuse for employers who put up roadblocks, needless delays, and unfair denials just to frustrate their employee to the point of giving up. When these things occur, we stand by your side, aggressively advocating on your behalf through each step of the process.
Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries
No matter where you work, there is always the possibility of an injury. Some industries are particularly dangerous, and they have a fairly high number of workplace injuries. These include:
- Health Care
- Auto Repair
- Truck Driving
- Welding, Pipe-Fitting, and other Skilled Trades
- Oil and Gas
- Utility/Powerline Work
Some of the most common injuries workers tend to suffer include:
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
- Machinery Accidents
- Being Struck by Objects
- Exposure to Toxic Substances
Benefits Available through Workers’ Compensation in Alabama
Employees who are qualified for workers’ comp are entitled to various benefits:
Temporary total disability benefits are paid to workers who need to take at least three days off due to a qualified injury. The first three days are unpaid unless you end up missing at least 21 days of work. Workers are able to receive 2/3 of their average gross weekly wage for the time missed from work (subject to caps that are adjusted annually). Temporary partial disability benefits are paid when an employee is able to work less than they were able to before the injury. Benefits for a temporary partial disability are 2/3 of the difference between your current wage and the wage you receive for the limited work you are able to perform.
After medical treatment is completed, the doctor performs an assessment to determine if the worker is permanently disabled. If the doctor finds this to be the case, the worker is eligible to receive weekly workers’ comp benefits for life. Permanent total disabilities often occur with severe injuries such as blindness, the loss of an arm or leg, or any type of injury that leaves the worker unable to be gainfully employed.
Permanent partial disabilities are those in which the employee can still work but will never be able to perform the job he/she once had. Benefits for permanent partial disabilities are calculated based on scheduled awards (predetermined based on loss of use of a certain body part), unscheduled awards (if the body part does not appear of the schedule), and disfigurement.
Additional benefits available through workers’ comp may include compensation for necessary medical treatment, mileage to and from doctor’s appointments, vocational rehabilitation (to train for a new job if the employee is unable to return to their old one), funeral costs, and death benefits.
When Might an Employee be Denied Benefits?
Workers in Alabama do not have to prove they were not responsible for the incident that caused their injury. They are entitled to benefits regardless of fault, but as mentioned earlier, there are some exceptions. Employees are barred from receiving workers’ comp benefits if:
- The injury was not work-related;
- The injury resulted from willful employee misconduct;
- The worker was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury;
- The injury resulted from the employee’s intentional act to do harm to himself/herself or someone else.
Appealing a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim in Alabama
Most stateshave an administrative court system that is dedicated to hearing workers’ comp disputes. In Alabama, however, this process is not available. Instead, you must file a civil lawsuit to dispute the wrongful denial of your claim. This is a complicated process that involves a trial that is generally heard by a judge rather than a jury. If you have been denied a workers’ compensation claim, you need a seasoned attorney in your corner who understands this process and has a proven track record of successful results on behalf of their clients. There is also a limited two-year window in which you can file a civil lawsuit in Alabama, so it is best to get in touch with an attorney sooner rather than later.
When a Third-Party is At-Fault for your Injuries
It is important to note that there are some workplace injuries in which the injured party may have legal options outside of the workers’ compensation system. For example, if your injury was caused by the negligence of a third-party (such as a subcontractor on a construction site), you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. In other cases, a product defect (such as a machinery malfunction) could have caused the injury. In a case like this, you may have a product liability case against the designer, manufacturer, supplier, distributor, or multiple parties throughout the supply chain.
Don’t Wait to Get Help from a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Sometimes, people delay getting help from an attorney, either because they feel they may have been partially or fully responsible for the accident, or because they have simply underestimated the amount of financial, physical and mental stress that can be associated with getting hurt at work. If you have been injured in the Dothan, Wiregrass, Montgomery, or Birmingham areas, don’t wait to see how things develop. Instead, be proactive. Trying to negotiate independently can be extremely stressful, and it may also limit the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Once a workers’ compensation lawyer gets involved, they can work to ensure that you are able to qualify for the benefits you need and deserve.
If you or a loved one have suffered a debilitating injury or illness at work, call M. Adam Jones and Associates today at 334-699-5599 or send us a secure and confidential message through our web contact form for a free case evaluation.
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