If you have been injured at work, and you are unable to return to work as a result, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Even relatively “safe” work environments like offices sometimes present hazards to those who work there. If you have been hurt at work, call a Birmingham Workers Compensation Attorney about how he can help you file a successful claim for workers’ compensation.
Workers Compensation Claims in Alabama
Even though some jobs put the employee at an increased risk compared to others, there are no jobs that are immune to possible injuries. Work related injuries can occur if you work at a desk and they can occur if you work out in the field. We are capable of handling any workers’ compensation claim that needs to be made from any of a long list of injuries capable of happening on the job. These include injuries such as:
- Catastrophic Brain Injury
- Amputation (loss of limb)
- Chemical Burns
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Mental Impairment
- Post-Injury Stress
- Leg Injury (including foot, ankle and knee)
- Lifting Injuries
- Forklift Accidents
- Defective/Malfunctioning Equipment
- Ladder and Scaffold Accidents
This is just a small sampling of the kinds of injuries that can qualify you for a workers’ compensation claim. If you have been injured while performing your job and that injury prevents you from returning to work, then you have a right to be compensated for your injury.
Construction Site Accidents
It should come as no surprise that one of the most dangerous professions to have is that of a construction worker, with an average of 4% of all workers receiving a serious work related injury. What makes a construction site more dangerous than other places of employment is the variety of ways in which one may be injured. The top accident types reported by construction sites across the country:
- 25% Falls
- 23% Overexertion
- 22% Struck By Misc. Items
- 10% Other Bodily Motion
- 7% Struck Against
- 3% Caught In
- 2% MAVs
- 7% All Other Injuries
25% of all workers’ compensation claims made on construction sites are from falls, while the addition of ‘overexertion’ and ‘stuck by’ brings that number up to 70%. If you have been injured on a construction site then do not hesitate to contact us to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim.
Forklift accidents are an unfortunate risk when working in a warehouse or factory and a forklift accident can lead to any number of injuries. Some workers are fortunate enough to escape with mere cuts and bruises while others suffer traumatic head injuries that render them disabled for the rest of their lives. There are many reasons why, even when all safety standards are met, a forklift accident may occur:
- Uneven Loads Shifting
- Objects Falling From Forklift
- Forklift Striking Another Employee
- Forklift Tipping Over
One of the most common injuries that can be sustained at the workplace is a lifting injury. Even though the most likely places for a lifting injury to occur are construction sites, warehouses and factories, it doesn’t mean that they can’t happen at offices or retail stores as well. Lifting injuries can affect a wide variety of body parts, including:
- Muscle Aches and Sprains
- Back Injuries
- Damage to Soft Tissue
- Torn Ligaments
Suffering these injuries in the course of your employment can cause you to miss work for an extended period of time and even cause you to be unable to return to your job.
Dangerous and harmful chemicals are best avoided if you have the chance, but many people work in fields that require them to interact with chemicals on a daily basis that have the potential to burn. When the skin comes into contact with acids, alkalis or other irritants it can result in damage to organs or permanent scarring to the skin. Chemical exposure also has the potential to cause someone to go blind or deaf if the chemical burn occurs on the head. This will also lead to the possibility of extensive reconstruction surgery before the individual is capable of returning to their previous life.
Electrocutions are surprisingly common in some fields of work. Cable installers, electricians and construction workers are all at risk of suffering an electricity related injury. Some companies are desperate to fill positions and send new employees into the field before they are properly trained. This can lead to severe injuries for employees. Other workers misrepresent their qualification level in order to secure work in dark economic times. In either case an electrocution has the potential to be life-threatening and the odds of recovering completely are not great. If you have been electrocuted while on the job we can help you receive the compensation and medical treatment that is owed to you.
Defective and Malfunctioning Equipment
When you work with heavy machinery on a regular basis you run the risk of using a piece of equipment that is either defective or malfunctioning. In the construction, mechanical or manufacturing industries this tends to happen on rare occasions, but when it does the damage can be devastating. It is not rare to see amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage or deep lacerations in people who have been working with defective equipment. If you have been injured on the job because of a piece of malfunctioning equipment you may have a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury case.
Ladder and Scaffold Accidents
When you are working on a construction site you may be expected to perform your duties atop a large ladder or a scaffold. Although this starts to become second nature after enough time passes, there is still a serious risk of injury if you fall from a ladder or scaffold. Falls can result in a number of injuries, including:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Broken Bones
- Internal Bleeding
The damage that can be caused is not insignificant and it may require you to file a personal injury suit. Contact an Alabama Workers Comp Lawyer immediately if you or someone you know has been injured in a ladder or scaffold accident, and we will work hard on your behalf.
Many people aren’t aware that you can file a workers’ compensation claim for occupational diseases, classified as any disease you have received by being exposed to toxins at work. Occupational disease claims are notoriously difficult to get approved without the assistance of an attorney who has experience in this field. You need to prove that you were exposed to the disease because of your profession, that the disease you suffer from has a history of being linked with your profession and that your profession has a higher rate of suffering from the disease than the general public.
Mercury, lead, hepatitis, benzene and asbestos are some of the leading examples of dangerous exposure you may face while performing your professional duties.
You don’t need to be a construction worker or heavy machine operator to suffer from a job-related injury. Accidents can happen anyway, and every employee has equal rights as far as workers’ compensation is concerned. What follows are some examples of the most common at-work injuries:
- On The Clock Car Accidents
- Animal Bites
- Slip and Fall
- Ligament Sprain
- Muscle Strain
These are all injuries that can happen in any retail or office environment and some injuries (like muscle strains) can get worse over time if it is not treated. Most people are under the impression that these injuries are too minor to report, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you do not deal with your injury immediately, it can worsen and cause you tremendous suffering down the line.
Alabama Workers Comp FAQ
The Workers’ Compensation Act is a set of laws administered by a state agency, known as the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The Board governs what workers, employers and insurance companies are supposed to do when a worker is injured on the job or gets a disease caused by the job. It is usually called “workers’ comp.”
What Is Workers Compensation?
With very few exceptions, workers’ comp applies if your employer has three or more employees when you are working there. The Workers’ Compensation Act requires that employers provide two kinds of benefits to the injured employee, at no cost to the employee. The first needed benefit is the medical benefit. The second (and equally important) benefit is the income benefit. Income benefits must be paid if an employee is off work due to the work-related injury. The law covers full time, part time, and temporary employees.
When Do I Need A Lawyer For A Workers Comp Claim?
Workers’ comp is a very complex area of law. It is highly recommended that you retain a lawyer to help file and pursue a claim. You can be sure that all employers and their insurance companies have their own lawyers. Their “in-house” lawyers do not work for anyone else except the insurance company. You need your own lawyer working for you.
This section of the web site is only intended to give you a general overview of workers’ comp and is not intended to give a legal opinion or legal advice. All legal opinions and advice require a lawyer to consider a specific factual situation in light of the governing law. This page cannot be substituted for such a legal analysis, so you should retain an experienced lawyer to work directly with you.
Is Workers Comp Different From My Health Insurance?
Yes. Workers’ comp is separate and different from your health insurance, even if your health insurance is paid directly through your employer’s plan for all employees.
“Work related” is sometimes called “on-the-job” and that is what it generally means, but not always. Most injuries covered by workers’ comp occur during an ordinary workday. All work related injuries are covered. For example, if you slip and fall at work, while you are “on the clock” that is definitely covered. If you slip and fall in the company parking lot, that might be covered. If you are working at a construction site, it is work related no matter where the construction site is located. If you are working out of town and staying in a motel, and you get hurt in the motel, it may be work related, depending upon your position with the company.
A disease is considered an on-the-job injury if the disease is the direct result of your work. Catching a cold from a fellow co-worker is not the result of your work. If you get anthrax while handling poisoned mail for your company, the anthrax would probably be considered a work-related disease.
Many work related injuries and diseases do not happen suddenly. An injury can occur over time through repetitive motion movements that some workers are required to perform, such as tightening bolts on an assembly line, using a jack-hammer, or typing on a computer keyboard. In the same way, many work-related diseases come from more than a single exposure incident. The lung diseases of asbestos workers and old time cotton mill workers were diseases that came on slowly over a period of extended exposure.
The most important rule for you to follow is to report to your boss as soon as possible after you have an on-the-job accident or as soon as you believe the job has somehow made you sick.
In the cases of a work-related injury, you usually must report the incident within 30 days to qualify for all workers’ comp benefits. For example, if you strain your back at work, but decide that you can go on working you might wait to report your injury. But, why wait? If you report the incident right away and show your boss how you hurt yourself that will tend to nail down just when and how the accident happened. Your boss will know the back strain occurred at work and not after you got home. Your report does not need to be in writing. You don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent or knew that a part of your job was dangerous. You can’t be penalized because a fellow employee caused the accident. The only important question is whether your injury or illness is work-related.
Again, some injuries and almost all diseases take time to develop. The Workers’ Compensation Act recognizes this, but you still need to report to your employer as soon as you realize that you have a work-related injury or illness.
Missing the workers’ comp reporting deadline may also affect your health insurance. Some insurance plans will pay nothing for a work-related injury or illness. In other words, to delay reporting a work-related injury or illness, may also cause problems in obtaining coverage with your regular health insurance plan.