How to File a Workers' Comp Claim in Alabama
The workers' compensation program in Alabama m
ay seem complicated. However, it's important for employees to know their rights if they get hurt while on the job.
Properly File Your Claim
After suffering your injury at work, you must immediately report the situation to your direct supervisor or boss. Your employer may recommend that you see a specific doctor to get a medical examination and treatment.
To have the best opportunity at having your claim approved, you must file it properly. It's also important to notify your supervisor or boss about the accident and your injury in a timely manner. Generally, you have within five days from the date of the accident to do that. You will have to fill out a form called a First Report of Injury Form.
If your employer denies your workers’ comp claim, you can contact the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Division to discuss your options with an examiner. You can also speak with an attorney if you want to file legal action about your claim. There is a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the accident to file your complaint with the court.
Meet Certain Conditions
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Alabama, you must meet certain conditions. They include the following:
• You must be one of at least five regular employees, full or part time, at your place of employment.
• Your injury or illness must have come about as a direct result of an accident or unforeseen situation occurring with or without human fault.
• The accident must be directly related to your employment and work. You must have been actually performing your normal work duties either on-site or off.
• You must have given your employer immediate notice of your injury or illness and included details of it.
How Long Do You Have to File Your Claim?
Overall, you have up to two years from the time of your injury to file your workers’ comp claim. However, you have to remember to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can lose your right to benefits. Generally, you want to report your injury or illness within five days of the accident.
Once you have notified your employer and the First Report of Injury Form is filed, your employer will work with the insurance company to determine whether you are eligible for benefits. The specific monetary number you receive in your benefits is determined based on a certain formula depending on your injury. You may qualify for medical benefits, compensatory benefits or death benefits.
Benefits You May Be Eligible For
Workers’ comp benefits should begin to pay out by the fourth day you miss work. This is due to the three-day waiting period.
There are certain benefits you may be eligible for depending on your injury and your claim. Compensatory benefits cover your lost wages due to your on-the-job injury or illness. They are divided into the following categories: temporary partial, temporary total, permanent partial and permanent total.
Medical benefits are given to cover the costs of medical treatments related to your injury or illness. This includes medication, surgery, supplies, prosthetics and other health care supplies.
If an injury or illness leads to death, the benefits are distributed to your dependents. However, if you have no dependents, your employer pays out $7,500 to your estate within 60 days after your death.
If you need further assistance, contact Spellen Law at your earliest convenience. We can answer questions on how to file a workers' comp claim in Alabama.