Spanish Fort Workers Compensation Lawyers
Saraland is a professional-class town. Many folks here work in healthcare, thanks to institutions like Spanish Fort Internal Medicine, or Springhill Medical Center, on Spanish Fort Blvd.
We also have many folks who work in manufacturing, thanks to Technical Specialties Inc on rt. 181.
These are wonderful places for our citizens to work, and build their careers, but they are also potentially hazardous. Unless you’ve been injured at work before, you may not know your rights under Alabama’s workers’ compensation laws. If you’re lucky, you have a good employer who is willing to walk you through the process and ensure that you get the benefits you are owed. However, lots of employees aren’t that lucky.
Their employers, in an effort to reduce injury claim numbers or minimize workers’ compensation insurance expenses, try to limit employees’ workers’ comp claims. This benefits the business at the expense of the employees who work hard to maintain it. If you’ve experienced any issues with your injury claim or benefits, it’s time to talk to an attorney and protect yourself.
The team at Thiry & Caddell advocates on behalf of Spanish Fort employees. We know how hard you work for your employer, and you deserve fair compensation after an injury. Ready to set up a consultation? Call us at 251-478-8880 to get started.
Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation System
In the state of Alabama, an employer with five or more employees is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This includes both part-time and full-time employees. After a three-day waiting period after an injury, you begin receiving partial income replacement.
The state allows you to receive up to 66 2/3% of your average weekly wages each week until you recover. However, there is a weekly cap on what they pay, so you may receive a smaller percentage. Starting July of 2022, the Workers’ Compensation Division reports a maximum payout is $1026 and the minimum is $282.
Workers’ compensation will also pay for your medical bills associated with the accident. There are limitations, though. You can go to any emergency room, such as Thomas Hospital in Baldwin County if your injury is an emergency. If it is not, you must go to a care provider approved by your employers or workers’ compensation insurance provider. Choosing to go to your own physician will result in bills that your employer does not have to pay.
Dangerous Industries in Alabama
Workers’ compensation claims occur across all industries, work settings, and occupations. However, there are some industries that are simply more dangerous than others. Some of Alabama’s industries that see a higher-than-average amount of injuries include:
- Fishing and maritime work
- Manufacturing and packaging
- Law enforcement
Although these industries tend to result in more injuries than others, don’t make the mistake of assuming your injury isn’t important enough to be reported simply because you work in a “safe” industry. For example, those who work in an office may feel that their repetitive stress injuries are too minor to report to their employer or get treated. Regardless of where and how your workplace injury occurs, it is your right to seek compensation from your employer’s insurance.
Filing Your Baldwin County, AL Workers’ Comp Claim
Time is of the essence after a workplace injury. As soon as you’re hurt, notify your immediate supervisor or manager. Every workplace has its own protocol and procedures, and you’ll need to follow those to avoid complications or delays. They may have a company-specific form they need you to fill out.
These forms generally include information about how the injury occurred, what you were doing prior to the injury, what body part is affected, and who witnessed the accident. Some people think that they can’t file an accident report if no one saw it, but this isn’t true. While a witness can strengthen your workers’ compensation claim, it is not a requirement.
From there, your employer takes over. They have to fill out WC Forms 2, 3, and 4. These cover the initial injury report, additional documentation, and a summary of your claim.
Don’t worry if you have to answer additional questions about your accident and how it happened. This is fairly standard for workers’ compensation. Your employer may just want to know that the injury occurred during the course of your standard work.
For example, if you get hurt in a forklift accident while loading goods for your employer, that is an injury caused by the course of your work. If you get hurt in a forklift accident because you, a non-forklift driver, decide to give the forklift a try, that is not an injury arising from your work duties.
From there, you’ll seek treatment at a facility approved by your employer and begin receiving benefits.
Common Workers’ Compensation Issues
What happens if your claim is denied? There are several reasons that a Baldwin County employer or workers’ comp insurance provider may deny an employee’s claim. They include:
- Intentional misconduct or intent to cause injury or death. Workers’ compensation exists to cover accidents, not willful misconduct. If you are injured while purposely engaging in unsafe behavior at work or trying to hurt yourself or someone else, it’s unlikely that workers’ compensation will cover your injury.
- If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you are injured, the insurance company may refuse to pay your claim. This is why many employers require a drug screening after an injury.
- Willful neglect or refusal to follow rules. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get paid if the injury occurred because of a mistake you made. It means that if you intentionally acted in a negligent way or chose not to follow your employer’s rules, the insurance company may reject your claim.
- Injury did not occur at work. Workers’ comp insurance may deny your claim if they have reason to believe that your injury occurred outside the workplace.
- Injury exaggerated or falsified. If the insurance company thinks that you are making up or exaggerating your injury, they may delay or outright deny your claim.
How We Can Help
While workers’ compensation insurance providers may sometimes have a valid reason for denying a claim, they often deny valid claims simply as a cost-cutting measure. This leaves injured employees without recourse. Hiring an attorney is one way to protect your best interests and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our team of workers’ compensation lawyers in Spanish Fort knows what it takes to prove a workers’ compensation claim in Alabama. Through a thorough investigation of your accident and the reasons given to you for a denial, we will advocate for you when you fight their decision.
We can also help with other workers’ comp issues. If your employer refuses to file a workers’ compensation claim or retaliates against you for reporting an injury, our attorneys are ready to fight aggressively to protect your rights as an employee.
Contact Thiry & Caddell Now
We’re ready to talk to you about your Baldwin County, AL workplace injury and your next steps. To schedule a meeting and create a plan, give us a call at 251-478-8880 or reach out to us online.