I Have a Workers’ Compensation Claim-What is an Ombudsman
By: Ray Foushee, Attorney, Virtus Law Group, Birmingham Alabama
An Ombudsman is an employee of the State of Alabama that is employed to facilitate workers’ compensation claims.
The Ombudsman program, was established by the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 1992. The objective of the Ombudsman Program is to work quickly and informally to allow the parties to take every possible step to settle their workers’ compensation differences before going to court. The Ombudsman are in place to assist with protecting rights and obtaining information about Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation law. One of the largest benefits of an Ombudsman is that they can participate in an employee’s benefit review conference or BRC. A BRC is a conference where an employee can settle his or her workers’ compensation claim. This is a valuable tool for employees as they do not have to go before a judge to have their workers’ compensation claim approved, as they had to prior to the Ombudsman program.
Another important tool that an Ombudsman brings to Workers’ Compensation claims is that they can serve as mediators. A mediator is a neutral third party that can help resolve claims between parties. The largest benefit of having an Ombudsman mediate a workers’ compensation claim in Alabama is that they are almost always free of charge.
An Ombudsman is a valuable tool for employees and employers in a workers’ compensation claim. If you or someone you know is involved in a workers’ compensation claim, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Virtus Law Group at 205-946-1924.
Founded in Birmingham, Alabama Virtus Law Group is a Personal Injury and Labor and Employment firm serving the people of Alabama.