Workers’ Comp Attorneys Helping You Secure Payment for Claims in Alabama
Workplace injuries can have long-lasting repercussions, both for immediate finances and long-term earning potential. Workers’ compensation is a safety net which helps to get you back on your feet, as well as achieving justice against a negligent or reckless employer.
What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance refers to an insurance policy legally required by all employers with fouror more employees. The compensation is designed primarily to combat financial concerns but can also be used for the treatment of injuries or ailments.
The decision to award compensation is defined thus:
“When personal injury or death is caused to an employee by an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, of which injury the actual or lawfully imputed negligence of the employer is the natural and proximate cause, he, or in case of death, his personal representative, for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin, shall receive compensation by way of damages therefore from the employer; provided, that the injury or death was not caused by the willful misconduct of the employee or was not due to misconduct on his part, as defined in Section 25-5-51.”
Employees also have the power to file a personal injury lawsuit if it can be proven that a third party was negligent and that this negligence directly resulted in the accident and subsequent injuries received by the victim.
What Can Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
There are two primary areas which workers’ compensation covers, depending on the severity and longevity of your injuries. The two main categories are permanent and temporary benefits, which are then subdivided into total or partial.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits: if your injuries require you to take more than three days off work, you will be entitled to claim temporary disability benefits. These initial three days are only paid if you end up taking more than 21 days leave and is designed as a stopgap while you recover. Temporary benefits will be paid until you are able to return to work as normal, or until you reach maximum medical improvement.Workers will receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage, but the amount cannot exceed the average weekly wage per week.(In July 2019, this limit was $892. It should also be noted that this cap only applies if your annual salary exceeds $65,000)
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits: these types of benefits will be paid if you are still able to workbut have a reduced earning capacity. These benefits will be paid for a maximum of 300 weeks and be two-thirds of the difference in wages. For example, an individual who usually earns $900 per week but, because of the injury, is reduced to earning only $300 will receive two-thirds of their usual wage—$400 per week.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits: if, upon completion of your medical treatment, you are found by a medical professional to be permanently and totally disabled, workers’ compensation offers weekly payments for life. This covers injuries such as loss of limbs or eyes, or any condition which means the worker is no longer able to be employed. The amount paid is two-thirds of your average weekly wage and will be automatically implemented following the termination of temporary total disability benefits.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: this category is used to cover scheduled and unscheduled losses, as well as any disfigurement. Different injuries will warrant different benefit periods, but the amount remains the sametwo-thirds of the average weekly income.
What Else is Covered?
As well as loss of earnings, workers’ compensation can also be used for:
- Medical Costs: any reasonable and necessary medical treatment is covered by the insurance, as long as it is authorized. This usually means using a medical professional who is approved by the policy
- Mileage Reimbursement: for travel to and from medical appointments
- Vocational Rehabilitation: in the event that a worker cannot return to their former role, assistance can be given in securing a new position
- Death Benefits: paid to the spouse, children, and dependents if a worker dies due to their injuries. This can also include funeral expenses
How Can We Help?
Here at Pharr and Goree Injury Attorneys, we have extensive experience in dealing with a range of workers’ compensation claims. If you think you have a case, get in touch today and see how the team can help you take those first steps to justice.