Have you been seriously hurt in a workplace accident in Mobile, AL? The workers’ compensation system in Alabama was designed to help you recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and more. However, the workers’ comp system is notoriously complicated with a lot of paperwork and deadlines.
Even worse, many legitimate workers’ compensation claims are denied initially. This leaves injured workers fighting their employer, insurance companies, and even physicians to get the compensation they need.
If you have been injured on the job in Alabama, an experienced Mobile workplace accidents lawyer at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. is here to help. We will serve as your legal advocate to help you strengthen and file your claim or appeal a rejected claim, if necessary. Contact our caring legal team today to schedule your initial consultation.
How Lattof & Lattof, P.C. Can Help with Your Workplace Accident Claim
At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we understand the toll that a work-related injury or illness can take on you. You may be unable to work, struggling with medical bills, and potentially facing a frustrating claims process that leaves you fighting for the benefits you deserve.
Our Mobile personal injury lawyers have 65 years of experience helping accident victims navigate the complex claims process. We strive to make you comfortable and self-assured through every step of your workers’ compensation case. We take the time to clearly explain your case and what you can expect in plain English then handle everything on your behalf so you can focus on getting better.
Our family-run law firm has helped people like you file for workers’ comp benefits and fight denied claims for decades. We have helped countless injured workers recover the benefits they deserve to cover their bills and support their families. Contact us today for help with your workers’ comp case or pursuing a third-party claim.
Alabama Workplace Accident Statistics
In 2018, private employers in Alabama reported 36,500 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses. That’s 2.7 workplace accidents or illnesses for every 100 full-time workers, very close to the national average. About 19,000 of these injuries were more severe.
95% of recordable incidents were injuries and 1,700 cases involved occupational illnesses. The most common were hearing loss, respiratory illness, and skin disorders which made up 29% of occupational illnesses in the state.
Two sectors which employ 40% of the private sector are responsible for 53% of workplace illnesses and injuries in Alabama: manufacturing and trade, utilities, and transportation.
Common Workplace Accidents in Mobile
Workplace accidents can occur in many ways depending on the nature of the jobsite. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., the following are three of the most common types of workplace accidents our Mobile personal injury lawyers see.
Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs nationwide. In Alabama, it’s responsible for the highest number of fatalities and injuries. Specialty trade contractors alone accounted for 11 of the 22 fatal workplace accidents in construction in Alabama in 2018.
Across the United States, about 21% of workers killed in fatal workplace accidents in 2018 were in construction. According to OSHA, the “fatal four” in the construction industry include:
- Falls (33.5% of construction deaths)
- Struck by object (11%)
- Electrocutions (8.5%)
- Caught in or between an object (5.5%)
Construction workers injured in a workplace accident generally have the right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Of the 89 fatal work injuries in Alabama in 2018, 34 involved transportation, including car accidents and truck accidents. Nationwide, 40% of workplace deaths involve transportation. If you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You may also have a third-party claim if another driver was at fault.
Slip and Fall Accidents
After traffic accidents, slips, falls, and trips are the second-leading cause of fatal workplace accidents in Alabama. They’re also responsible for 15% of accidental deaths and 17% of disabling workplace injuries.
Slip and fall accidents can be the result of hazards at the workplace, spills or dust on the floor, poor maintenance, and risky behavior like tools or equipment left on the floor.
Mobile Workplace Accident Injuries & Occupational Illnesses
Workplace accidents can result in serious and life-changing injuries and even illnesses. While any type of injury can result from a work-related accident depending on workplace conditions, some of the most common injuries and conditions we see include:
- Brain injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hearing loss
- Knee injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Nerve damage
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Toxic chemical exposure
While many people are able to recover from a workplace injury, many are left with chronic pain, reduced quality of life, and an inability to work. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., our Mobile work injury lawyers have a combined century of experience helping accident victims seek the full compensation they deserve.
We’ll help you file your workers’ comp claim and pursue compensation from a third party, when available, to protect your financial future.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Mobile, AL
The Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act covers most employees in the state. The workers’ compensation insurance system protects both workers and employers by providing a no-fault system for claiming benefits after a work-related accident.
There are three main types of benefits you can receive through workers’ compensation:
- Medical benefits. This covers necessary medical care and rehab related to an occupational illness or injury. It also covers vocational rehabilitation.
- Compensatory benefits. This compensates you for lost wages due to missed work and/or permanent disability. Benefits are based on a percentage of your Average Weekly Wage.
- Death benefits. This will be paid to the dependents of an employee who dies within 3 years of a workplace accident. It includes funeral expenses and benefits for up to 500 weeks or until remarriage.
There are also four types of compensatory benefits to replace lost wages. These benefits depend on the type or severity of your injuries.
- Temporary total benefits. You can receive up to 2/3 of your Average Weekly Wage if you are totally disabled for a limited amount of time.
- Temporary partial benefits. You can qualify for benefits up to the portion of your loss of income if you can perform some work but not your regular job.
- Permanent partial benefits. You are entitled to benefits based on your injury severity if you have a permanent disability.
- Permanent total benefits. You can qualify for ongoing workers’ comp benefits if you suffer a serious and permanent disability that leaves you unable to work. Ongoing benefits are 2/3 of your Average Weekly Wage.
Note that workers’ compensation does not offer any benefits for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangible or non-compensatory damages. You may still recover compensation for these damages if your accident qualifies for a third-party claim.
Why Was My Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied?
Workers’ compensation in Alabama is a no-fault system which means you do not need to prove fault to receive benefits. You can also recover compensation if your own actions contributed to your accident.
However, there are many possible reasons your claim may be denied. There are also some types of employee actions that negate the right to receive benefits. Common reasons for denial include:
- The injury is not work-related or a pre-existing condition
- Medical expenses are not related to the workplace injury
- The accident was not work-related
- You did not provide proper notice
- The accident was caused by drug or alcohol use
- The accident occurred due to your own willful misconduct
- You did not follow safety precautions
- You breached workplace regulations
Has your workers’ compensation claim been denied? You have the right to file an appeal with the Hearings and Appeals Division within 15 days of receiving notice.
While there is no requirement to be represented by an Alabama workplace injury lawyer, it’s still usually a good idea to do so. Your Mobile workers’ compensation attorney will help you present evidence to support your claim and represent you during the hearing.
Third Party Liability Claims & Workplace Accidents
As a general rule, you cannot sue your employer if you suffer injuries in a workplace accident. However, you may have a separate claim outside workers’ compensation if your accident was caused by a third party.
Third-party liability claims can come up in many scenarios. For example, you may have a separate claim if you were driving for work and hurt in an accident caused by another driver. Third-party liability claims can also involve product liability if you were hurt by defective equipment.
If you have a third-party claim, you can seek compensation from the third party in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the employer can seek repayment for vocational retraining and medical expenses if you do recover through subrogation.
The Mobile work injury lawyers at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. will review your claim to determine if a third party is liable for your injuries.
Contact a Mobile Workplace Accidents Lawyer Today
In theory, workers’ compensation is a great system for giving injured workers a no-fault system to recover benefits fairly quickly. In practice, it’s complicated and leaves thousands of injured workers every year fighting a battle against insurance companies, their employer, and sometimes even a physician chosen by their employer.
At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we believe every injured worker has the right to fair compensation for their injuries. We serve as your advocate to help you recover the benefits you need so you can focus on your recovery. Contact our legal team today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Mobile workplace accidents lawyer for your free case review.