In 2022, there were over 33,500 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in Alabama. Workplace injuries can result in immense physical, emotional, and financial stress. When you’ve been hurt on the job, having an experienced Huntsville workers’ compensation lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the full benefits you deserve.

Rights and Benefits Under Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation

In Alabama, most employers with five or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This system provides critical medical and wage replacement benefits to employees who suffer injuries or occupational illnesses caused by and during their employment, regardless of fault.

Key benefits available under Alabama’s workers’ comp laws:

  • Medical Benefits: Employees are entitled to all necessary medical treatments for their injury, including doctor’s visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and prescriptions. Under Alabama Code § 25-5-77, employers or their insurance carriers must cover these costs.
  • Compensatory Benefits: Depending on the severity and nature of the injury, employees may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits. Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits amount to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage until they can return to work.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits also provide two-thirds of the average weekly wage but are intended for those unable to return to gainful employment.

  • Death Benefits: If a worker suffers a fatal injury on the job, their dependents can receive death benefits. These benefits include up to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly earnings, up to a state-imposed maximum, and are distributed among the dependents based on their relationship to the deceased.

If there is one dependent, they receive 50% of the average weekly earnings, while two or more dependents receive two-thirds of the earnings. Payments can continue for up to 500 weeks and cease if a dependent dies or remarries. If the deceased had no dependents, a one-time lump sum of $7,500 is paid to the worker’s estate​.

Protecting You From Minimized or Denied Claims

Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts or deny claims whenever possible. Common tactics they employ include:

  • Arguing that your injury is not work-related
  • Disputing the severity of your condition
  • Alleging that you violated company policies

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can level the playing field with:

  • Thorough Evidence Collection: A lawyer will gather comprehensive evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and expert testimonies, to build a strong case for your claim.
  • Accurate Claim Valuation: Lawyers understand how to accurately value your claim by considering all aspects of your injury, such as long-term medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For example, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) might require extensive and ongoing treatment, affecting your life and finances.
  • Negotiation Skills: Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can effectively communicate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation. They know the legal precedents and can counter any attempts by the insurer to undervalue your claim.

Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Decision

If your workers’ comp claim is denied, you have options to appeal, but the process is complex with strict deadlines. In Alabama, you must first request a mediation conference within 60 days of the denial. If that fails, you can formally request a hearing before an ombudsman.

Having an attorney represent you gives you a considerable advantage, as they can help you with:

  • Requesting a Hearing: Upon denial, you must file a written request for a hearing with the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations within 15 calendar days of the injury date. Your lawyer will help you prepare and submit this request.
  • Pre-Hearing Preparation: Your attorney will gather additional evidence, prepare witness testimonies, and organize all necessary documentation to strengthen your case.
  • Hearing Representation: At the hearing, your lawyer will present your case before an administrative law judge. They will cross-examine witnesses, challenge the insurer’s evidence, and argue for your right to benefits.
  • Further Appeals: If the administrative law judge makes an unfavorable decision, your lawyer can appeal to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. This process involves filing legal briefs and presenting oral arguments.

Get Trusted Legal Advocacy for Your Alabama Workers’ Comp Case

At Tyler Mann Injury Law, our qualified Huntsville workers’ compensation attorneys are unwavering in their commitment to protecting the rights of injured workers.

We understand the physical, financial, and emotional toll a workplace accident can take, so we fight tirelessly to help our clients maximize their recovery. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let our professionals go to work pursuing the workers’ comp benefits you need and deserve.