No worker expects to clock in for the day only to leave in an ambulance. Unfortunately, hundreds of workplaces in Alabama contain hazards that can cause serious employee injuries. In 2017, 83 workers died on the job in Alabama, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 5,147 fatal work injuries occurred across the country in 2017. If you get into an accident at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The Alabama workers’ compensation system may provide recovery for your medical expenses, lost wages and more.
How Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Work?
Every state other than Texas obligates employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp insurance provides no-fault benefits for employees injured on the job. If an employee sustains an injury while at work or performing job-related tasks outside of the workplace, that employee could receive compensation for certain damages without having to prove anyone’s fault. Filing the First Report of Injury Form could lead to checks issued to the injured worker for multiple expenses.
- Past and future injury-related medical bills
- Two-thirds weekly gross wages, up to a maximum
- Benefits for a temporary or permanent disability
- Death benefits (medical care, burial expenses, etc.)
In general, receiving workers’ compensation benefits requires four conditions: the employee worked for an employer with workers’ compensation insurance, the injury happened in an accident, the accident arose out of the course of employment, and the employee gave proper notice of the accident and injury. If these elements are present, the employee could receive checks for his or her losses without needing to show proof of another party’s fault.
Average Workers’ Compensation Settlement in Alabama
Just as every worker and injury are unique, so is every workers’ compensation claim. It is difficult to assess an average workers’ compensation settlement amount since workers’ benefits can differ drastically. Some injured workers in Alabama have received $10,000 or less for their work-related injuries while others have earned seven figures in lifetime permanent disability benefits. The value of your workers’ compensation claim will depend on many factors unique to your case.
- Severity of your injuries
- How much your injuries have impacted your life
- Whether you have disabilities or permanent scarring/disfigurement
- Costs of medical care and occupational therapy
- How much you made, on average, before the injury
- Whether you can return to work at full or partial capacity
- If you lost a loved one
Calculate the losses you know you have suffered due to your injury. Calculate what two-thirds of your gross weekly wages are and add them to your injury-related medical expenses for an idea of what your case could be worth. If you have a permanently disabling injury, you may qualify to continue receiving benefits for life. The total amount of your settlement could be substantial. Find out what your case could be worth by consulting a lawyer.
How Insurance Companies Calculate Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When you submit an initial injury form to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider, the company will review your case and may request additional documentation or paperwork to prove your injuries and the circumstances surrounding your accident. The insurer will then review all your information and accept or deny your claim. If you receive an acceptance letter, the insurer will calculate your workers’ compensation benefits based on the type of work you perform, how much money you earn and statewide caps.
If a party other than your employer caused your workplace accident, you could also have grounds to recover through a personal injury lawsuit. This could lead to additional compensation for losses such as pain and suffering and punitive damages. An attorney could help you bring a claim against one or more at-fault parties in pursuit of fair compensation. Speak to an attorney before accepting a workers’ compensation settlement offer to preserve your rights.