The Most Common Workplace Injuries in Alabama
A workplace accident can happen anywhere and at any time. Employees who are hurt on the job often face astronomical medical expenses, weeks of lost wages, loss of future earnings, and long-term pain and suffering. This can take a serious toll on your life and the lives of those close to you.
If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident in Alabama, the law gives you the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits while you recover. But applying for benefits can be a frustrating and confusing experience. A workplace accident attorney at Gartlan Injury Law can assist you each step of the way so that you receive the benefits you are entitled to as soon as possible.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
- What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?
- What Should You Do After Suffering an Injury in the Workplace?
- What Evidence Is Needed in a Workplace Injury Case?
- Can a Medical Condition Stem from a Workplace Injury?
- Who Can Be Held Liable for a Workplace Injury in Alabama?
- Contact an Alabama Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?
Whether you work on a construction site or in an office, job injuries are always a possibility. Some of the most common types of work injuries include:
- Strains and sprains
- Overexertion injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Hearing damage
- Occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma and other cancers
Employers are required to have safety protocols and training in place to reduce the risk of on-the-job injuries. But when accidents happen, workers’ compensation benefits can provide a financial safety net to workers as they heal. An experienced Dothan, Alabama workplace injury lawyer can help you pursue maximum benefits for your injury and any related disabilities.
What Should You Do After Suffering an Injury in the Workplace?
There are several important steps that you must take if you are hurt at work or diagnosed with an occupational illness. Alabama workers’ compensation laws are deadline-specific, so it’s important to act quickly.
- Get medical attention. If an accident happens, you need to seek medical care even if you don’t believe that you are hurt. Some serious injuries have a delayed onset. In addition, you will need a doctor’s diagnosis in order to make a workers’ compensation claim. Under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, you need to see a doctor of your company’s choosing in order to have your treatment covered (unless it is an emergency).
- Report the injury to your supervisor or boss. You must provide notice within 5 days of the accident.
- Gather evidence. If you can, take photos of the site where the accident occurred, damage to the surroundings, and your own injuries. Make sure to collect any evidence before your injury heals or damage is repaired. Speak to witnesses and get their contact information.
- Hire an Alabama attorney with extensive workers’ compensation and personal injury experience. In a workers’ comp claim, it’s vital to meet all deadlines and pay attention to detail. The attorneys at Gartlan Injury Law can help prepare a solid claim that shows the extent of your injuries and why you deserve full and fair workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, our lawyers can investigate whether another party (not your employer) could be held liable for your injuries through a separate personal injury claim.
What Evidence Is Needed in a Workplace Injury Case?
In order for your injury to be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy, you must first prove that the injury arose out of the normal course of your employment.
Example: If you were driving to the office and got hit by another car, you normally would not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your job is to drive a delivery truck and you were hit on the way to make a delivery, those injuries could entitle you to workers’ compensation because they occurred while you were performing job duties.
A written statement notifying your employer of your injury and your medical records are essential evidence in every workers’ compensation claim. You will also need evidence that the injury occurred while you were working. This may take the form of an accident report or police report, eyewitness statements, and/or photos or video evidence. The more proof you can provide, the better.
In most cases, you don’t need to prove fault in order to collect workers’ compensation. If the injury was caused by a third party or you are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance — as is the case with some Alabama farmworkers, state, city, and county employees, and independent contractors — you may need to file a lawsuit to collect compensation. In those cases, you will need to provide compelling evidence that another party’s negligence led to you becoming injured. A good lawyer will investigate your claim and gather all the necessary evidence to put together a persuasive case for compensation for you.
Can a Medical Condition Stem from a Workplace Injury?
Yes. A variety of medical conditions may arise from a work injury or exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, often affect workers who type, perform data entry, or spend long hours at cash registers. Ingesting or breathing hazardous chemicals or fumes, which is common at industrial jobsites, can cause cancer or other conditions requiring lifelong treatment. Some of the occupational diseases caused by a workplace environment include black lung disease, asbestosis, and hearing loss.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Workplace Injury in Alabama?
If you are pursuing workers’ compensation for an injury, your employer can’t be held liable under Alabama law. If the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, however, you can bring a claim against that party in addition to receiving workers’ comp.
Let’s continue the example of the car accident from above. If you were hit while making a delivery, you may be able to hold the other driver liable for hitting you in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. There are gray areas here — you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering from a lawsuit against a third party, but not for medical bills or lost wages covered by workers’ compensation.
Contact an Alabama Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Don’t let a workplace accident derail your life. Contact Gartlan Injury Law as soon as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation.