This web site is devoted to Alabama workers’ compensation claims. However, I am licensed to practice law in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and the District of Columbia and my partners and I handle personal injury cases just about anywhere.
We primarily focus our practice on helping people throughout the Southeastern United States with a variety of personal injury claims including car wrecks, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability or slip and fall accidents, dog bite incidents, Social Security disability claims, insurance disputes, fraud cases and of course, workers’ compensation claims.
Contact Tracy W. Cary at Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers, LLC for more information about these types of claims.We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your legal situation. Call us today at 205-855-2745
You definitely DO NOT need an attorney for every case. In fact, we may not accept a particular case and will advise you to proceed on your own. Why would we do this? Because, in many of these cases the system actually works and pays the benefits you are entitled to as an injured worker. Don’t be fooled by promises that an attorney makes that she or he will get you what you deserve. Pain and suffering is not part of a workers’ compensation case (unlike a lawsuit before a jury). However, an experienced attorney can evaluate and assess your claim, and obtain the maximum benefit that you should be entitled to.
You will receive TTD benefits for as long as your treatment continues, that is, until you reach maximum medical improvement. In some cases, you can receive benefits after the date of MMI.
Probably the most valuable benefit to injured workers is the right to receive future medical care for the rest of your life as long as you are treated for the job-related condition by an authorized medical provider. Because this arrangement presents an unknown and potentially very expensive risk to the insurance carrier, most insurance carriers will at some point attempt to close your right to future treatment by having you consider a settlement of your right to future medical benefits. However, you cannot be forced into closing your right to future medical benefits.
Most of the time, the insurance company will stop your benefits when you reach maximum medical improvement. The idea is that when you are through with your treatment and you have recovered as much as you can, you should be able to return to work. Thus, your TTD benefits will typically be stopped so you are not paid both salary or wage benefits in addition to TTD benefits. There are, of course, many times when a worker is not physically able to return to work after he reaches MMI or even if he is able to return to work, his employer does not allow him to return to work. If that happens, you could be entitled to receive unemployment benefits. Also, if you are not taken back to work you will be permitted to offer evidence of vocational disability and you will not be limited to receiving compensation only for your physical impairment.
Ala. Code § 25-5-80 sets forth the general statute of limitations applicable in a workers’ compensation case. The statute of limitations or legal deadline for Alabama workers’ compensation claims is the later of two years from the date of the accident or two years from the last workers’ compensation benefit paid to you. It does not extend the statute of limitations when you are provided medical treatment, because only compensation benefits extend the two years. For non-accidental injuries (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome that develops over time or certain breathing problems that result from exposures at work), the statute of limitations can be two years from the date you were last exposed to a condition that made the problem worse (also known as the date of “last injurious exposure”). Once a lawsuit is filed, the statute of limitations is tolled. Even if an injured worker allows the statute of limitations to run, it has no effect on the employee’s right to future medical care, as long as the worker is able to prove legal and medical causation.
Usually your workers’ compensation benefits stop after you return to work. After you reach maximum medical improvement, except for scheduled injuries as provided in Section 25-5-57(a)(3), when an injured worker returns to work at a wage equal to or greater than the worker’s pre-injury wage, the worker’s permanent partial disability rating shall be equal to his or her physical impairment and the court shall not consider any evidence of vocational disability. But if the employee has lost his or her employment under certain circumstances within 300 weeks from the date of injury, an employee may petition a court within two years thereof for reconsideration of his or her permanent partial disability rating.
Myth: If you speak to the insurance company or write a letter explaining your case and are reasonable, you will get a reasonable response that “pays” you what you deserve.
Myth: All lawyers who advertise that they handle workers’ compensation cases have the same ability, tools and experience to handle your case.
Myth: The paperwork you need to file is simple and the law is easy to understand.
Myth: Most compensation claims are made up or fraudulent and people would rather be on compensation and “milk” the system instead of working.
Myth: Your employer will make sure you get the benefits you deserve quickly and keep your job open for your return.
Myth: The doctor they send you to will not be influenced by the fact that your treatment is being paid for by your employer’s insurance company.
Read more myths in Tracy’s new book: The Injured Worker’s Survival Guide.
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