According to the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL), workers have two years from their injury or two years from the date of their last payment to challenge an issue with their workers’ compensation benefits. This could include a denial, an underpayment, or another concern.
This statute of limitations for worker’s compensation in Alabama is just one deadline you may need to meet to protect your right to benefits after a work-related injury or illness. Other timelines could also apply in your case. A workers’ compensation attorney from our firm can help you understand this process.
Critical Timelines in the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
According to the “Basic Claim Handling Manual” from ADOL, several deadlines apply in workers’ compensation cases. These deadlines include:
- Workers must report an injury or illness as soon as possible.
- Employers must submit a “first report of injury” to the workers’ compensation commission within 15 days of the injury or illness when possible.
- The state requires a supplementary report within 10 days of the first wage loss payment.
- There is a two-year statute of limitation on filing workers’ compensation claims.
There are strict timelines for the insurer, as well. Specifically, they have up to 30 days from the claim’s filing date to make the first wage loss payment. If they fail to meet this deadline, they have 10 days to file paperwork explaining why.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation
Alabama workers’ compensation coverage includes several types of benefits.
Medical Care for Work Injuries and Illnesses
Workers’ compensation should pay for an injured worker’s medical care and related costs, both immediate and ongoing. This coverage includes all the expenses related to treatment and management of an on-the-job injury, chronic use injury, or work-related illness.
These payments are paid directly to the care providers.
Wage Loss Benefits
Wage loss benefits are generally about two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage, although there is generally a minimum and maximum payout set by statute each year. Once a claim is approved, there is a three-day waiting period before wage loss benefits begin.
If the treating physician still does not allow the employee to return to work after three days, these benefits should begin on the fourth day and continue until they reach the maximum number of days. Otherwise, the employee can return to their work.
When a worker is temporarily or permanently disabled because of their injury or illness, they will receive additional workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits could include:
- Temporary total benefits
- Permanent partial disability
- Other types of disability paid weekly or in a lump sum settlement
When a worker passes away from their illness or injury, workers’ compensation provides some coverage for a funeral, burial or cremation costs, and more. The surviving family will receive these monetary benefits.
Vocational Training and Support
Some workers with lasting impairments may not be able to return to their previous careers. Instead, they could train for a different job or learn how to handle their job-related tasks through additional vocational training and support. Workers’ compensation covers the cost of many of these programs.
Who Has Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Alabama?
Most workers in Alabama have access to workers’ compensation benefits. Specifically, Alabama workers’ compensation law requires all employers with five or more workers to provide this coverage. As long as you work for a covered employer, you may qualify to file a claim when you have a diagnosis of:
- An acute injury that occurred after an accident at work
- A chronic injury the doctor attributes to your job
- An illness caused by a job-related exposure or another work-related cause
What Causes Workers’ Compensation Disputes?
Workers’ compensation concerns and disputes are not uncommon. If you have a concern about your claim, you can speak with an attorney or file a report with the ADOL commissioner.
Some common causes of workers’ compensation disputes include:
- The employer refuses to report the injury or illness.
- The insurer denies the claim.
- They do not authorize payment for medical care or other covered services.
- The commissioner orders an injured worker to refund payments.
If any of these happened to you, a workers’ compensation attorney from our firm could help you sort out the issue and secure the benefits you need. We can also identify any third parties who may have played a role in your accident and injuries – this could allow you to recover additional damages through a personal injury claim.
Speak to a Lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC Today for Free
A workers’ compensation lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm will review your case and legal options for free today. We may be able to help you settle a dispute and get the benefits you need.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.