Archive for Workmans Compensation

Frequently asked questions about Workers Comp claims

There are a lot of myths about workers compensation claims. This article intends to provide some simple answers to some of the most common questions we deal with when handling on-the-job injuries for our clients in Alabama.

I got injured on the job today, what do I do?

Report it to your supervisor immediately. Under Alabama law, you need to notify your employer of the injury within 48 hours of the incident. The standard way to report an injury is to fill out a First Report of Injury form. This creates a paper trail that proves you reported your injury within that 48 hour period. If you fail to report your injury within 48 hours, you may not be able to recover for your injury.

Will my medical bills be paid?

All medical treatment that is related to your on-the-job injury should be paid by your employer. However, this does not mean that an employer will cover all medical treatment you receive after your on-the-job injury. For example, if you injured your hand on the job but then subsequently got the flu, your employer would not pay for you to get your flu treatment because it was not related to your on-the-job injury.

Can I continue to work while I make a workers compensation claim?

If a doctor has not stated that you are not able to work, then the general answer is YES, you can work. People often think that you are harming your case by working while you are claiming an on the job injury. While it is important for you to check with your lawyer first before returning to work, it is very common and not harmful to return to your job while your workers compensation claim is still being resolved. In some ways, this will actually strengthen your case because you will not look like you are exaggerating your injuries.

Can I be fired for bringing a Workers Compensation claim?

No. In Alabama, an employee cannot be fired for pursuing a workers compensation claim. If you have been fired because you made a workers compensation claim, you may have a claim for a Wrongful Termination of your employment. So you should have no fear in bringing a workers compensation claim for your on-the-job injury.

How to ruin your workers compensation case with social media

Workers compensation insurance carriers often hire private investigators to determine whether you’re as injured as bad as you say you are.  With social media sites like Facebook, defense attorneys often don’t even need private investigators to try and turn a jury against you.  Here’s some ways you can ruin your comp case through facebook, twitter or other social media platforms.

  1.  Showing yourself dancing at the club or bar when you claim you’re suffering debilitating pain. – You may just be posing for a picture, but the appearance is all that matters.
  2.  Talking about how much money you plan to get from the case and how you plan to spend it. – There’s nothing wrong with wanting compensation for your injuries, but juries can often get a bad taste in their mouths when they hear about you wanting money.
  3. “Checking in” at a gym when you claim you’re unable to perform basic errands due to your injury. – You may just be there to pick up a friend, but why explain that when you can just not check in?
  4. Befriending an insurance adjuster or defense attorney – This allows them access to more of your information on facebook to try and dig up information they believe a jury may not like
  5. Posting pictures of you without your brace or cast on – You may just allowing your injury to “get some air” but it gives the appearance that you don’t follow doctor’s orders or you’re not really hurt.
  6. Posting a video of you walking without your crutches. – The doctor may tell you that it’s ok to put some weight on your leg (example: ACL reconstruction), but again, it makes the jury think you don’t listen to your doctor or are worse, not injured.
  7. Posting a status update or a picture of you doing something illegal such as smoking illegal drugs or racing a car. – Does racing a car affect whether you got hurt lifting boxes at work? No. But it suggests that a jury cannot trust you because you don’t obey the law.

These are just some basic examples of how an insurance company will use against you in your case.  So be mindful of social media and how it can negatively affect your case.