Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Birmingham
When it comes to workers’ compensation, many people believe it is a straightforward process. For example, maybe you were at work and became injured. Surely your employer will cover the costs of your injury. Unfortunately, it is rare that cases are that easy to navigate.
Instead, many people face denials, undervalued settlements, and threats from their employers. If this happens to you, it is important for you to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in Birmingham. Keep reading to learn more.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Mean?
Workers’ compensation is the payment of benefits from a company to an employee who was injured on the job. Usually, this payment comes from a company’s insurance. Ideally, workers’ compensation covers any damages, medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. However, many insurance companies and businesses will deny you workers’ compensation benefits in an effort to keep their own costs low.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Workers’ Compensation Settlements?
Whether or not you need a personal injury lawyer depends on the insurance company, your employer, and the extent of your workplace injuries and other damages. Strictly speaking, a lawyer in Birmingham is not required to submit workers’ compensation injury claims.
If the settlement offered is more or sufficient for your needs, you may not need workers’ compensation lawyers at all. However, settlement offers like that are rare, and so we usually recommend any injured workers hire a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Is Getting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Worth It?
Getting a workers’ compensation attorney is one of the main ways you can protect against the violation of your rights. Unfortunately, insurance companies and employers don’t always have your best interest at heart and may try to settle for less than you deserve.
In fact, even though it’s illegal in Birmingham, Alabama, some employers may even threaten to fire you for making a workers’ comp claim or going to a lawyer. Don’t be intimidated by these actions. With the right attorney working for you, you will receive financial justice and be able to return to work.
How Much Should I Expect from a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
The simple answer is that you should expect enough payment from workers’ compensation to cover any expenses related to your injury. This might include medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and more. The severity and longevity of your injury will also have some influence on the overall amount you’re awarded.
If you’re not awarded enough to cover these costs, you should absolutely call a lawyer or at least counter-offer with a more reasonable amount. Having a lawyer on your side can greatly increase the total amount you’re offered. Companies are aware that workers’ compensation attorneys know how much your injury is worth and are more likely to offer a fair settlement as a result.
If you’re looking for a numerical amount that you can expect, the Alabama Department of Labor lists 66.66% of an employee’s average weekly wage as the minimum set amount for workers’ compensation payment.
Can I Sue My Employer for Denying Workers’ Compensation?
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer for denying your workers’ compensation. Birmingham, AL employers are required by law to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, which means they are immune from most lawsuits. However, if your employer didn’t have sufficient insurance, negligently put you in harm’s way, or deliberately threatened your job status, or denied your injury, you may have grounds for a workers’ compensation lawsuit.
It’s best to exhaust all options before taking your employer to court. We recommend that, before you do anything else, you or your lawyer contact your employer to find out the reason for denial. Some paperwork may be misplaced or there may be a simple misunderstanding. By simply checking, you may be able to secure workers’ compensation with no extra effort.
However, if this doesn’t work, the next course of action we usually recommend is the appeal of the denial of workers’ compensation. This appeal must be made very quickly after the denial in order to stay within the statute of limitations. Appeals are often denied, but with the help of a lawyer, they are more likely to succeed.
Even if your workers’ compensation claim is denied a second time, there can be a lot of reasons to not file a lawsuit against your employer. First of all, doing so will likely damage your relationship with your employer, making an unfriendly work environment even if you do return to your job. Secondly, it can be a very time-consuming process that may pay very little in the end. Thirdly, you may not have a strong case against your employer, even if they treated you unfairly.
Having a good lawyer on your side is absolutely essential should you decide to take your employer to court. They can help you decide if a lawsuit is truly the best option for you. If a lawsuit is possible for your case, they will be able to fight on your behalf in court.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Birmingham
Workers’ compensation has a lot of hoops to jump through before you get your settlement. When you’re injured, the last thing you want to do is file paperwork and talk to companies about your payment. Let an expert workers’ compensation lawyer in Birmingham handle your case for you.
If you’re looking for experienced lawyers who are empathetic to your situation, call the law firm at Wettermark Keith. We’ve seen the ups and downs of the workers’ compensation industry and want to put our knowledge to work for you.
Start with a free consultation today.