You are injured on the job, what is next?
When you are injured on the job in Alabama it is first crucial to inform your employer and fill out what is called a first report of injury. This outlines what happened and documents the injury. In Alabama the Workers’ Compensation laws provide protections for employees that are injured on the job. One such protection is payment of medical bills that are the result of the on the job injury. The second benefit is payment of 2/3 of your average weekly earnings during the time that you are unable to work due to the on the job injury. There is also the possibility of a lump sum payment for certain injuries.
Does the employee have to cover the medical bills?
Generally, the employer must pay for all work-related injury medical bills for the employee. However, because the employer has to foot the bill they generally have control over which doctor handles the treatment. There are certain instances when the employee can choose a different doctor if the employee is not happy with the treatment they are receiving.
What if I was injured on the job by someone other than my employer?
Generally, the only recovery option an employee has for an on the job injury is the workers’ compensation benefits discussed above. However, the Supreme Court of Alabama has carved out one exception. If an employee is injured by a third party while on the job, the employee can make a claim against that third party and receive benefits other than workers’ compensation.
I sought Workers’ Compensation benefits and got terminated, is this okay?
In some instances, employers retaliate against employees for seeking the benefit of workers’ compensation benefits. Alabama law forbids an employer from terminating an employee for seeking or filing a workers’ compensation claim. The employer can be sued for lost wages and even punitive damages should it be determined that they fired an employee for seeing benefits.