Workplace accidents are common and can wreak havoc on multiple parties concerning financial stress, not to mention healing from injuries that occurred. Medical bills can pile up, and you may be forced to remain out of work while you are healing, meaning you miss wages and experience in your field.
Alabama law allows employees to pursue worker’s compensation claims while they are healing and missing work. Filing these claims, however, can lead to added frustration. If you aren’t filling them out correctly or missing information, your claim may be denied, pushing back the timeline for obtaining financial relief.
Steps to Take Following a Workplace Injury
One of the first things to do is to seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if you feel that there may not be significant issues, if you have experienced a fall or a blow to the head, it’s in your best interest to get a complete exam to rule out soft tissue injuries, which don’t always present with symptoms right away, such as a concussion.
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the employer or carrier of the worker’s compensation insurance should direct the employee to an approved medical facility/doctor to be examined. It’s essential to see the approved doctors to ensure that your medical bills can be eligible for reimbursement. If you feel that you would like a second opinion from your doctor, you can do so, but keep in mind that the costs may not be covered if they aren’t an approved doctor.
Second, you must report the injury to your employer within five days of the incident. Suppose you have consulted them regarding an approved medical facility. In that case, you may have already fulfilled this requirement, but check with them to ensure there isn’t paperwork they require or a formal report to avoid being denied worker’s compensation.
Be Your Own Advocate
It’s essential for anyone injured in the workplace to become their own best advocate. Being your advocate means gathering evidence should you need to use it in the future. Evidence such as pictures of the accident site, eyewitness statements from anyone who saw the incident, photographs or videos of the injuries sustained, and more can be crucial to pursuing damages in the future. There may have been property damage due to the incident, and it’s important to document it.
Gather all reports, medical bills, and any other documentation regarding your injuries and the incident to share with your attorney.
Common Examples of Workplace Injuries
Some of the most common examples of workplace injuries are listed below. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but some common examples.
Slips, trips, and falls – according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), slips and falls are one of the most common examples of how workplace injuries occur.
Struck by object – standard on construction sites, being struck by another object can lead to severe injuries such as TBI, broken bones, and more
Strains and sprains – these less significant injuries may result from overexertion or falling while at work but can lead to long-term issues.
Who is Liable Following a Workplace Injury?
Alabama’s Worker’s Compensation Laws require all employers with five or more regular employees to carry coverage. Worker’s compensation can help limit employers’ liabilities while protecting employees and offering them an option for coverage or financial reimbursement while they heal.
Generally speaking, all employees are eligible for coverage following an accident, even if they were at fault for the injuries occurring. The difference is that by allowing all employees to be covered, they can’t pursue further damages through their employer or coworkers, even if they are negligent in most cases.
Third parties are exempt from this rule, though. This exemption means that if a third party was on a job site and caused an injury (such as a driver delivering materials to the job site that strikes an employee with their vehicle), you can likely pursue worker’s compensation and potentially pursue the third party for negligence.
You may also be eligible for a personal injury claim against a fellow employee if it’s proven that the employee acted negligently or intentionally intended to harm you.
Your Tireless Advocate
Once you have acted as your advocate, gathered evidence, and tended to your injuries, it’s time to rely on an experienced attorney to become your fierce and compassionate advocate. By consulting an attorney with extensive experience in worker’s compensation issues and personal injury, you can ensure that your chances of getting the damages you deserve are far more significant.
Having been practicing law since 2009, our experience is vast and reliable. We can help clients navigate the intricacies of worker’s compensation or personal injury claims and help ensure that they aren’t settling for far less than they deserve.
Call our office today at (205) 881-5641 to learn more. We are an office of skilled negotiators committed to advocating for our clients, whether the case is large or small. We are thorough in gathering evidence, which, in many cases, can make or break your options. We are aggressive when necessary, compassionate, and committed to every client we work with.
We look forward to speaking to you.