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Work-Related Accidents

work injuryWork-related accidents may not only affect your physical health but your ability to earn a living as well.  However, under Alabama law, employers with five or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

If you have been injured on the job, you may have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. With this coverage, injured workers are entitled to three major benefits, which include:

  1. Compensation while the worker is unable to work
  2. Medical benefits
  3. Compensation for any permanent injury

If you have been injured on the job, you must immediately report the claim to your supervisor. Your employer should then ask you to complete a workers’ compensation report of injury, and your benefits should begin at that time.

In some instances, insurance companies may deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims. They might also make the claim that you were not injured at work, suffered from a pre-existing condition, or that your injury does not require medical attention. Don’t try to fight the workers’ compensation system on your own and risk not receiving the benefits you are entitled to.   Please consult with an attorney and know your legal rights first.

If you have been injured on the job and need help with your claim, please contact the attorneys at Timberlake & League to set up a FREE consultation and discuss your legal options.

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What should I do if I get hurt at work?

If you are hurt on the job, report the injury to your supervisor immediately. If you can, make sure to fill out an accident report that you and your supervisor sign so that you have a record of both the accident and the fact that you reported it.

Why can’t I see my own doctor if I get hurt at work?

Alabama law says that the employer gets to choose your doctor. If you go to your own doctor for an injury that should be covered by workers comp, you may end up paying for it out of your own pocket. If you get hurt at work, ask your employer to send you to the doctor.

What if I don’t like the doctor that workers comp sends me to?

If you don't like your workers' comp physician, you have the chance to change your doctor one time. You can ask for a panel of four doctors to replace the doctor you don’t like. If you choose a doctor from the panel and go to see that doctor, then he/she is your doctor going forward. You can’t go back to see the original doctor even if you liked him/her better. And don’t be fooled. You aren’t just choosing a doctor from a panel for a second opinion. He/she will be the doctor for the rest of your treatment.

How much time do I have to pursue a claim?

In Alabama there is a standard two-year limit from the date of the accident to file your personal injury claim.  Due to the relatively short time frame, it is imperative you speak with a personal injury lawyer soon after your accident to discuss your case.

Do I need to keep a journal of my facts and injuries?

It is very important to keep records of everything pertaining to your case.  Detailed accounting makes proving your case easier.  Keeping a record of medical bills, prescribed medications, paperwork, a detailed account of your incident, and how it has affected you is always a great plan. Be sure to include details like when and where the incident occurred; the names of the people involved; and injuries that may have happened as a result.

What does “contributory negligence” mean?

Contributory negligence is a defense to a personal injury claim based on negligence.  The defense completely keeps plaintiffs from any recovery if they contribute to their own injury through their own negligence.  In other words, if you were injured due to not paying attention to signs, warnings, and other avoidable dangers by taking reasonable care you will not be compensated for your injuries.

If I have no health insurance, how can I get medical treatment?

If you do not have and cannot afford insurance, you may be able to seek assistance for primary care at your local health department. If you are without health insurance and need to make a visit to the emergency room or a primary care physician, you will be responsible for paying all costs for treatment. 

Why did the hospital send me a lien?

A hospital may send a lien notice if you do not have insurance or if it chooses not to file with your health insurance provider.  The lien allows the hospital to recover full payment of your total hospital charges from any judgment or settlement you receive from the party that caused your injuries.  However, they aren’t always able to file a lien if you have insurance.  If you have insurance, the hospital may be contractually required to file with your healthcare insurance and accept payment from the insurance company as full satisfaction of the charges.

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