Learn How to Get the Compensation You Deserve For Your Work-Related Injury or Illness
There are nearly 33,000 injuries reported by private industry employers every year. Taking time off work is a dream when it’s a vacation, but a nightmare when you’re forced to do it due to an injury.
Over 60 percent of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. A few weeks of missed work is all it takes to push them into a financial crisis.
You have to pay rent, household bills, and other family expenses when you’re healthy. Now that you’re injured, you’ll have to pay them along with thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost earnings.
But if you’ve been injured on the job, you’re entitled to financial relief from your employer. Birmingham workers’ compensation laws direct employers to support victims with a variety of benefits. However, the clock is ticking. You may miss the legal deadline for claiming your compensation if you don’t act quickly. You need to hire a skillful Birmingham workers’ compensation lawyer immediately after the accident.
At Mezrano, our team will take the right legal action at the right time to get you the rightful compensation.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Birmingham
The Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act lays out the structure for reimbursing workers injured at the workplace. Employers must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage to handle these liabilities.
Employees can file a claim against this coverage to get compensated for their injuries and lost earnings. In exchange, the injured employee can’t sue their employer for a workplace injury even if it was caused by negligence. So this coverage shields both parties involved in the case to an extent.
Legal Expertise for Workplace Accident Victims
Recognize the importance of what’s at stake – the financial security of you and your loved ones. Don’t get sidetracked by your employer or insurer convincing you not to get lawyers involved. You need strong legal representation to smoothly navigate the legal complexities of workplace injury claims.
Mezrano’s Birmingham workers’ compensation lawyers have helped several injured workers get the settlement they deserved.
Here’s how we can assist you in your legal journey to recover what you’re owed:
- Identifying your eligibility for filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Identifying any negligent third parties involved in the accident
- Assessing your damages
- Gathering evidence to prove your injury is work-related
- Reporting all details to your employer on time
- Seeking as many benefits as possible
- Coordinating and negotiating with insurers
- Negotiating to maximize your settlement
- Filing a lawsuit if necessary
Eligibility Criteria for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You must meet the following criteria to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits:
- You must be an employee of a company that has workers’ compensation insurance coverage
- You must have a work-related injury or sickness
- You must follow all state deadlines for reporting your injury and filing the claim
Your employer may choose to dispute your claim and compromise your settlement, especially when your negligence led to the problem. So it’s essential to follow all safety protocols shared by your employer.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Birmingham
Here are the main benefits of the Birmingham workers’ compensation program that you can seek:
- Medical benefits
- Partial wage loss benefits
- Death benefits include funeral expenses and weekly benefits paid to the dependents of a worker who dies within three years of a workplace accident or disease.
- Temporary total benefits for workers who are disabled for a limited time.
- Temporary partial benefits are for workers who can’t perform regular tasks and must take on lighter-duty tasks while recovering.
- Permanent partial benefits are for workers who are suffering from a permanent disability.
- Permanent total benefits are for workers with a permanent disability who can’t work.
Exploring Third-Party Claims and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Sometimes you may be injured at your workplace because of the negligence of another party apart from your employer. You can file a third-party workplace injury claim or lawsuit in this case. Let’s say a defective forklift malfunctions and injures some workers. Now the injured workers can file a claim against the forklift manufacturer to cover their damages.
Third-party lawsuits give you the benefit of recovering all your lost wages along with non-economic damages. However, it’s more challenging to establish liability and they take much longer to resolve compared to workers’ compensation claims.
Timelines and Statute of Limitations
There are strict timelines you must follow to ensure your workers’ compensation or third-party claim is processed smoothly.
Here are some important timeframes involved in these cases to consider:
- Your employer must file the first report of injury or illness to the workers’ compensation commission within 15 days of it happening
- Your employer must file a supplementary report within 10 days of completing the first compensation sum
- Insurers have 30 days to complete your first payment after being notified of your claim
- Insurers have 10 days to file a report explaining a denial of your claim
- You can file a claim or lawsuit only within two years of the workplace accident or illness occurring
Free Case Consultations and Legal Assistance
We know the health stress and financial pressure you face after a workplace injury. Suddenly, you have no income and a ton of expenses to keep up with.
The last thing we want to do is to add to your financial burden. So you don’t have to worry about paying our legal fees when you hire a Mezrano Birmingham workers’ compensation lawyer.
Your win comes before our fees. So you only have to pay us when we successfully recover your settlement. We’re committed to making this process as efficient and affordable for you as possible. Feel free to reach out to us for a free case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is workers' compensation, and why is it important?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance coverage for employers. It helps them compensate employees for any damages they face as a result of their job. It helps quickly compensate workers for their medical expenses and lost wages. At the same time, it shields employers from any lawsuits from employees.
How does eligibility for workers' compensation work in Birmingham?
Here are the qualifications you must meet to access workers’ compensation benefits in Birmingham:
- You are employed by a company that owns workers’ compensation insurance coverage
- You suffered an injury or sickness due to the job you were doing
- You stuck to all the legal deadlines for reporting your damages and filing your claim
When should I consider hiring a Birmingham workers' comp lawyer?
You should hire a Birmingham workers’ comp lawyer right after your workplace accident. You significantly raise your chances for a better settlement when you get a lawyer involved early in your case.
How can legal representation benefit workplace accident victims?
Here are the biggest benefits of hiring a skillful workplace accident lawyer:
- Determining your eligibility for the claim
- Evaluating your damages
- Gathering evidence to prove your injury is work-related
- Ensuring your employer has all the reports needed for processing the claim
- Meeting all legal deadlines
- Identifying maximum avenues of compensation
- Negotiating with insurers to maximize your compensation
- Filing a lawsuit if needed
What factors affect eligibility for workers' compensation benefits?
The eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits depends on two factors – whether it was an on-the-job injury and your employment status. You can’t be compensated for an injury or illness you sustained when you were not working. It’s not likely for independent contractors and freelancers to be protected by this coverage based on their contract terms.
What should I do if I've been injured in a workplace accident?
Seek medical attention immediately. Get an official diagnosis and follow the recommended treatment for your injuries.
Delaying treatment can be considered negligence on your part and hurt your claim. You should follow that up by hiring a workers’ comp lawyer before filing your claim.
What types of benefits can I receive through workers' compensation in Birmingham?
Here are the types of benefits you can seek through workers’ compensation in Birmingham:
- Medical expenses
- Partial earning losses
- Death benefits including funeral expenses and weekly benefits paid to the dependents of a worker (the worker must’ve died within three years of the workplace accident or illness)
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Temporary partial benefits for injured employees who can’t perform to their full capacity while recovering
How are compensation benefits calculated in the state?
If you get hurt on the job and need to claim weekly benefits, you take your average weekly earnings for the last 52 months and then multiply it by 2/3. So, if you’re earning $500 a week, your weekly benefits should be about $333.
When can I consider filing a third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit?
You can file a third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit when the neglectful actions of a party other than your employer caused your injury.
What kinds of damages can be recovered in third-party claims?
Here are the types of damages you can recover in third-party claims:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
What is the statute of limitations for filing workers' compensation claims in Alabama?
Alabama abides by a two-year statute of limitations for filing workers’ compensation claims. You lose your right to seek compensation if you miss this deadline.
Can I still pursue a claim if I missed the deadline?
It’s possible that there were special circumstances that led to your delay in filing a claim. For instance, the injury may have led to a coma or required prolonged intensive treatment. Consult your lawyer to see if you qualify for seeking compensation.