Workplace injuries and their aftermath can be frightening. In addition to dealing with the physical impact of your injury, you worry because you and your loved ones rely upon your income, and you fear that your injury will impair your earning ability. Fortunately, the state has put into place a program to assist injured or illness-stricken workers. However, the process of obtaining the full compensation you deserve can sometimes be complicated and intimidating. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney at 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.
Workers’ Compensation Has Broad Coverage
One of the positive aspects of the workers’ compensation programs in Alabama and Florida is the programs’ wide-ranging coverage. Most on-the-job injuries, or illnesses brought on by your job qualify you to receive workers’ compensation. Additionally, the law requires the vast majority of employers to participate in the program. In Alabama, only employers with fewer than five employees are exempt from participating in the program. In Florida, all employers with four or more employees must participate.
Though the majority of workplace injuries fall within the coverage of workers’ compensation, exceptions exist under some narrow circumstances, which are relatively similar in both Alabama and Florida. These include:
- Injuries that were pre-existing;
- Harm due to illegal drug or alcohol use;
- Injuries resulting from an employee’s attempted suicide;
- Injuries resulting from a fight that the worker started;
- Harm incurred while the employee was not on the job; or
- Injuries suffered through acts that violate company policy.
A qualifying injury or illness under workers’ compensation need not be a sudden traumatic event, like a fall. Injuries for which an employee may seek workers’ compensation may include repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or degenerative back conditions. Another positive of workers’ compensation is that, once you begin the process of seeking benefits, your employer cannot permissibly fire you for filing a claim.
If you become temporarily unable to work, you can receive temporary total disability compensation. This allows you to receive two-thirds of your average earnings based upon your income at the time of the injury for the entire duration of your recovery period.
Workers’ Compensation Has Strict Procedural Requirements
If you are injured at work, you should not hesitate to take action. The first thing you must do is report your injury to your supervisor and your company’s human resources department, as the employer must submit a report to the state. If you fail to notify your employer of your injury promptly enough, this may disqualify you from receiving benefits, even if your injury was serious.
Also, once you decide to pursue a claim for benefits, you must seek treatment for your injury from a doctor your employer selects. Failure to do so may deprive you of your right to benefits.
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 1 (866) 514-1957 or online now.