Do I Need A Lawyer For An Alabama Work Injury?
Alabama Workers Compensation Law
Under Alabama law, an injured worker has certain rights and options. However, attempting to handle your own claim can be risky. Your employer or the workers comp insurance carrier will probably not have your best interest in mind. Also, they will have the benefit of legal counsel.
For the most part, if your work injury is not serious and very little time is missed from work, hiring an attorney is probably not necessary. This is because Alabama law requires employers to do certain things automatically, such as pay for the medical treatment and pay your wages while you are off work. The tricky part is when the injury is more serious and permanent.
For serious or catastrophic injuries, employers are required to pay benefits for a longer period of time, including a lump sum payment for those who have a physician-documented, permanent injury that will affect their ability to work in the future. This is the point where a work injury lawyer is needed. The calculations used to determine the lump sum payment are extreme complicated. Additionally, questions arise about whether medical benefits will remain open and whether the employer has to accomodate the employee’s physician-imposed work restrictions. Rarely, if ever, will an employer freely do all of these things without being compelled by your legal counsel.
Finally, at the end of your medical treatment, when your doctor has released you to return to work, any workers compensation settlement proposal has to be approved by the local circuit judge. For this, multiple agreements have to be reached on many issues. Also, the statute of limitations for work injury claims has to be carefully monitored. Only with a trained legal advisor can all of these issues be handled in order protect the full range of rights due an employee. At the end of the day, it is a safer practice to have a Birmingham personal injury attorney.