Compensation for injury as a concept has been around for thousands of years. Historians trace the root of the system back to Mesopotamia more than 2,000 years before the common era. Back then, the loss of an eye entitled the victim to one half of a mina of silver from the person who caused the damage.
We have no idea what a mina of silver was worth then, or now. We do know that the world has become a great deal more complicated. We divide forms of personal injury into different types. If you suffer an injury due to someone else's negligence, you can seek an array of damages from that person. If you suffer injury on the job in Alabama, the hope is that workers' compensation provides benefits you need. But if you don't know your rights under Alabama law, you could be frustrated making your claim.
What the law requires
Just because you believe yourself employed does not necessarily mean you are in line for workers' compensation if you get hurt. Certain conditions must exist for you to be eligible. These include:
- Your employer must have at least five workers on the payroll.
- The injury or occupational disease must occur as a result and in the course of your job.
- Proper notification of your employer about the injury.
Specific to that last item, deadlines are set by the law. Your first notice of injury is supposed to be provided to your boss within five days, if possible. In any event, you have an obligation to report the matter to your employer within 90 days of injury.
Of course, if your employer doesn't fit the profile of the first bullet above, workers' compensation might not be available. Likewise, if you are classified as an independent contractor or you work under an employee leasing arrangement, your effort to make a claim could become complicated.
It is because of these nuances of Alabama's law that working with an experienced attorney is so often urged.