The Workers’ Compensation Act allows the employer (or insurance carrier) to select the medical provider who will treat the injured worker. It seems that in many cases, workers are forced to be seen by medical providers who seem more interested in ensuring a steady flow in the pipeline of patients than in objectively treating the…

In Alabama, there is no privilege “covering communications between a physician and a patient.” Charles W. Gamble, MCELROY’S ALABAMA EVIDENCE § 413.01 (5th ed. 1996). “Communications to a physician or surgeon by a patient or one seeking professional advice are not protected under common law and no such privilege exists in Alabama, absent a statute…

Federal courts sitting in Alabama cannot hear workers’ compensation claims, even where there is diversity of citizenship between the parties. 28 U.S.C. §1445(c).The Alabama Legislature created a mechanism using this State’s civil court system for providing injured workers limited redress for job-related injuries. The same Legislature made provision to protect injured workers from termination in…

Ala. Code § 25-5-11(a) permits an employee to proceed against his employer for compensation benefits and, at the same time, to proceed against any other party who may also be liable for the employee’s injuries. Section 25-5-11(a) states in part: “If the injured employee recovers damages against the other party, the amount of the damages…

Alabama’s retaliatory discharge statute, Ala. Code § 25-5-11.1 provides a protection for employees such that they may not be terminated in retaliation for their pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits. For a number of years, the elements of a wrongful termination or retaliatory discharge claim required the injured employee to prove (1) an employment relationship, (2)…

The Act provides that a worker who is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a job-related injury (the legal conclusions of the trial court in workers’ compensation cases are reviewed de novo on appeal), is entitled to receive 66 ⅔ percent of her average weekly wage for the remainder of her life. According…

Conclusion German Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck is credited with saying that “People who enjoy eating sausage and obey the law should not watch either being made.” Sometimes the compromise inherent in politics can produce less than perfect results. The same is true in the area of workers’ compensation law. Often when advocates for workers…