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What Workers Should Know About Workers' Comp

If you have been injured on the job, workers' compensation pays your medical bills and part of your lost wages. It is important to understand how this type of insurance works, and if your employer is treating you fairly in event of an accident.

Only injuries occurring on the job qualify for workers' compensation. If you are injured while working, report the injury immediately to your supervisor. Under Alabama law, the employer requires notification within five days of the incident. Your employer will inform you which health care provider you must see regarding this injury, except in the case of an emergency.

Waiting Period

If your injury results in temporary partial or total disability, under Alabama law you will not receive compensation for the initial three days after the injury, or longer if your employer was not notified. On the fourth day post-accident, compensation begins. If you are disabled for more than 21 days, those first three days are added to the compensation. Workers' compensation payments are 66.66 percent of your average weekly wages during your disability, although there are state maximum and minimum amounts payable.

Employee Exceptions

Businesses employing fewer than five employees are not required under Alabama law to provide workers' compensation insurance, unless that company is in the residential construction trade. Also exempt from the workers compensation provision are:

  • Farm laborers
  • Domestic workers
  • Employees of municipalities with a population under 2,000.

Injury Exceptions

Not every injury occurring at work qualifies for workers' compensation. Accidents involving particular circumstances are ineligible. These include:

  • Willful misconduct
  • Intentional injury
  • Injuries related to alcohol/illegal drug use
  • Breaching a known rule
  • Failure to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test
  • Failing to use employer-provided safety devices.

Employee Death

If an employee was killed on the job, a sole dependent is eligible for 50 percent of his weekly earnings in compensation, for a period of up to 500 weeks. If he had multiple dependents, the amount rises to 66.66 percent of weekly earnings. The employer is liable to pay up $6,500 in burial expenses.

Claim Denial

Employers may attempt to deny your workers' compensation claim. For example, the employer might state that there was no witness to the accident, trying to throw doubt on your claim. That is not a valid reason for an employer to deny a claim.

Contact an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured on the job and your employer has denied you workers' compensation benefits, you need to speak to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer. At Johnson Thompson & Moore, our attorneys will evaluate your case and make sure you understand your rights and options before moving forward.

Source: https://labor.alabama.gov/wc/

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Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone: 256-417-6609
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