Work-related injuries are disturbingly common in a host of occupations. Worker compensation exists to protect both employees and employers from the fall out. Employees receive medical coverage and compensation for lost wages when they are injured on the job regardless of fault. Employers, in turn, provide coverage and are protected from employee lawsuits. Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage under Alabama law.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Under workers’ compensation laws, if you are injured on the job, your employer must pay for your medical expenses related to the injury, as well as for lost wages. Unfortunately, no matter the injury or who is at fault, workers cannot sue their employers for negligence or pain and suffering if their employer maintains appropriate workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
If you are completely unable to work, you are entitled to receive total disability benefits, which are 2/3rds of your regular wage up to $843 a week, if you bring in $65,000 or more a year in salary. (This cap gets updated annually. Please check out the AL Division of Workers’ Compensation website for more details.) There is no time limitation on how long you can receive total disability benefits, although the insurance company can require you to undergo a medical examination. If your disability rating qualifies, you can continue to receive total disability benefits for life. This, however, is rare and you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you get the benefits you need.
What If a Third Party Caused My Accident?
If a third party caused your accident, you are entitled to pursue your workers’ compensation claim, as well as a personal injury suit against the third party.
Claims for a third-party suit might involve:
- Negligence: If an outside person or company, such as a subcontractor or other person on your job site, fails to use reasonable care and injures you, they may be subject to a claim for negligence.
- Product Liability: If defective or negligently maintained equipment caused your injury, the manufacturer or maintainer of the equipment may be subject to a lawsuit.
- Premises Liability: If you’re injured while working at another location and the business or property owner failed to reasonably maintain their property, injuring you, they may be subject to suit.
- Wrongful Death: If an outside person or company causes a death, the family may be entitled to file suit for wrongful death.
If you are injured on the job, it’s important to consult an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured at work, even if you are already receiving workers’ compensation benefits, let the professionals at Petro Accident & Injury Attorneys ensure that you are maximizing your benefits. Contact us now for a free consultation at (256) 533-5000.