If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to benefits under your state’s workers' compensation laws.
These benefits can include payment of medical expenses associated with your injury, compensation while you are unable to return to work, vocational rehabilitation, permanent partial disability benefits, or total disability benefits. There are certain types of injuries that are usually covered by worker’s compensation, including traumatic physical injuries, repeated trauma injuries, and occupational diseases.
The good news is that worker’s compensation laws generally require most employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance. In Alabama, employers with more than five employees are required to participate in the program. In Florida, all employers with four or more employees must participate. So, most likely, you are covered.
What to do if you have been injured on the job
The first thing to do, if you have been injured at work, or learn that you have developed a job-related occupational disease, is to notify your employer immediately. There are deadlines for filing worker’s compensation claims, that vary in each state. Waiting to notify your employer may result in limiting the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Seek medical attention, if you have not already done so. Be sure to tell your doctor that your injury, either occurred on the job or in connection with your job. Also, contact your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier. Your employer is required to post this information in the workplace. Once you have received medical treatment for your injury or illness, notify your employer in writing, before any deadlines have passed.
Consulting with a worker’s compensation attorney to make sure you have complied with the requirements in your state, is advisable. The process of obtaining full compensation can be complicated and intimidating. The Martin Law Firm, LLC, has years of experience representing injured workers in Alabama and Florida to ensure they can provide for themselves and their families even while they cannot work.
Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits
Although worker’s compensation benefits are different in each state, there are certain benefits that all eligible employees are entitled to. These standard benefits include medical care, temporary or permanent disability benefits designed to at least partially replace lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, educational assistance, death benefits.
It is also important to understand that not all injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. In both Alabama and Florida, the following types of injuries are not included:
- Pre-existing injuries
- Injury due to illegal drug or alcohol use
- Injuries resulting from attempting suicide
- Injuries resulting from a fight started by the employee
- Injuries that occurred while the employee was not on the job
- Injuries resulting from violation of company policy
The consequences of filing a worker’s compensation claim
One of the things you must give up, when you receive workers' compensation benefits, is the right to sue your employer for additional compensation relating to your injury. This does not mean that you cannot file a lawsuit against someone else involved in that same injury. For instance, if you were injured in an automobile accident while on the job, and the other driver was at fault, you would still be able to sue the other driver. The Martin Law Firm, LLC can advise you of your legal options.
Workers in Florida and Alabama who have been hurt on the job should seek legal assistance promptly to protect their rights. For some workers, this representation involves ensuring that the employee gets the workers’ compensation he or she deserves. In other cases, this involves avoiding the workers’ compensation system, in situations where the employee’s most appropriate avenue of recovery is a tort lawsuit. To get the highest quality advice and assistance, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at The Martin Law Firm, LLC at (866) 514-1957 or online now.