People injured on the job sometimes need to act to get the compensation they deserve, including coverage for medical costs and lost earnings while they recover. It’s a mistake for an injured worker to believe they are automatically covered just because their employer provides access to workers’ compensation insurance.

Alabama law requires employers with five or more full-time or part-time employees to have workers’ comp coverage. Injured workers have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, not reporting an injury to a manager or an employer within five days can cause workers to lose certain rights and benefits.

Conditions enabling coverage for workers

In addition to the prompt reporting of an injury, other conditions must exist to be eligible for coverage:

  • Employer must offer access to workers’ comp benefits
  • The injury must result from an accident that is related to the worker’s job
  • The injury must happen at a place related to his or her job

Conditions preventing Alabama workers access to benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits can be denied for several reasons:

  • The injury is not reported within 90 days
  • The injury was caused by the worker’s negligence
  • A third party unrelated to the injured worker caused the injury
  • The worker attempted to hurt or kill themselves
  • The worker was under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol
  • The worker did not observe safety regulations
  • The worker breached a “reasonable” rule that he or she knew about

Workers must know their rights if injured on the job

The National Safety Council reports a U.S. worker is injured on the job every seven seconds, which amounts to 4.6 million injuries each year. Alabama employers reported 32,900 nonfatal workplace accidents in 2017, averaging 2.5 cases for every 100 full-time workers.

On-the-job injuries can be the result of accidents or negligent behavior subjecting injured workers to permanent or temporary disability, immense medical expenses and lost wages. If someone is injured while working, the advice of an experienced Alabama workers’ compensation lawyer can help provide them with the best possible outcome.