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.