Northeastern University Law School Dean Emily A. Spieler recently testified before Congress (Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Committee on Education and Labor) concerning the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Guides to Permanent Impairment. Doctors in workers’ compensation cases often use the AMA Guides to determine whether an injured worker has an impairment rating after a job-related accident….

Based on recent decisions from the Alabama Supreme Court and Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, how do you use considerations of an injured worker’s pain to get beyond the severe restrictions of the table of scheduled members? In order to get beyond the schedule, focus on proving that the employee’s pain within his scheduled member…

This is off topic of workers’ compensation law but I have to share this with you. Last month, my daughter and I were part of a team of 14 from our church (Covenant United Methodist) that participated in a mission trip to Tinyari, Peru. We worked with the first through sixth grade children of the…

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…