Huntsville Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The workplace can be a dangerous place for workers even if every safety precaution is taken. The pressure to accomplish a task quickly, or to reduce costs, can often cause employers or workers to cut corners in safety procedures. When an employee is injured at work, the workers’ compensation system provides for the expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
Immediately after an injury at work, the employee should seek medical attention and inform their employer of the accident and the fact that they have been injured. Once the employer has received a written notice of the injury, the employer turns over the injury claim to the workers’ compensation insurance company.
The insurance company has 30 days to make a decision regarding benefits for the injured employee. During this time, the insurance company may investigate the circumstances of the accident.
If the insurance company accepts the claim, the injured employee’s medical expenses will be covered by the insurance, any vocational rehab the employee needs to return to work or to find new employment if they are no longer physically able to do that job will be covered, and a portion of lost wages will be compensated. The lost wages are paid at the rate of two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly pay, up to a cap set each July by the state.
If the insurance company denies the claim, the employee can appeal the decision by filing a civil suit in district court. In general, you have to file this appeal within two years of the date of the accident or the last benefit paid.
There are several different types and amounts of benefits available through workers’ compensation in Alabama, depending upon the severity of injury and the body part injured. These benefits are typically two-thirds of your weekly wage, with a maximum of $832.00 per week. However, the maximum length of time that injured workers may collect compensation differs greatly, depending up the nature of the disability:
- Temporary Partial Disability – 300 Weeks
- Temporary Total Disability – Unlimited
- Permanent Partial Disability – 300 Weeks
- Permanent Total Disability – Unlimited
- Disfigurement – 100 Weeks
- Death Benefits – 500 Weeks
- Other Benefits – Other benefits are available such as mileage reimbursement, medical treatment, and benefits for funeral expenses.
You May Be Entitled to Additional Compensation
While workers’ compensation will not award any damages due to pain and suffering, you may still be eligible to seek compensation for pain and suffering outside the workers’ compensation system. If your injuries were caused by someone other than your employer or co-workers, you may be able to seek compensation from that at-fault party through a civil suit. Additionally, if your injury was the result of a defective product, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for compensation as well.
While no one would wish to be injured at work, if you’re involved in an accident at work, the workers’ compensation system is there to ensure that your medical expenses and lost wages are compensated fairly. Work injuries and the workers’ compensation claims that are generated as a result, can be very complex. There are deadlines and a lot of paperwork. It can be confusing to someone unfamiliar with the benefits available and the process by which insurance companies handle, often denying, the claims. Having an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner can sometimes make all the difference in receiving the benefits you are entitled to. Let us do the hard work for you. Reach out to a skilled Huntsville Workers’ Compensation Attorney for help. Call Conchin, Cloud & Cole, LLC today.