Workers’ compensation is a valuable option for recovery, providing a range of benefits to employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness. These workers’ compensation benefits may include medical expenses (from diagnostic costs to treatment and physical therapy), wage loss, and even disability benefits depending on the severity of the injury.
Many would-be claimants aren’t quite sure whether they’re eligible to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, however. For the sake of clarification, let’s take a brief look.
In the state of Alabama, the law requires (generally speaking) that employers with five or more employees — full-time or part-time — provide workers’ compensation coverage. It’s worth noting, however, that an employer with fewer employees may have still voluntarily chosen to acquire workers’ compensation coverage, so be sure to check if coverage is available for your claim.
If your employee has acquired workers’ compensation coverage, then you’ll have to evaluate whether the suffered injury occurred due to an employment-related accident — whether or not it was caused by another’s negligence. For example, even if the accident is not necessarily your employer’s fault (i.e., an earthquake causes a box to shift slightly and fall on your foot, fracturing your toes), workers’ compensation claim may provide benefits.
Critically, the accident must be linked to your employment activity. In other words, it must have occurred within the “course and scope” of your employment. On-site activity is almost always considered within the “course and scope” of employment. Whether an off-site activity is considered within the “course and scope” of employment is a very fact-based question, but generally turns on whether it is a reasonably expected duty of the position.
As an injured employee, you may not be legally entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits under Alabama law if the following is true:
For example, if you show up to work intoxicated, and fall off a ladder as a result, then you cannot successfully recover workers’ compensation benefits for those injuries.
Cross & Smith is a personal injury firm based in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Our team of attorneys has decades of experience serving a wide range of plaintiffs, including those who have been harmed in a work environment and are looking to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
We pride ourselves on our commitment to prioritizing the client and work closely to ensure that their needs, goals, and concerns remain at the forefront at every phase of the dispute. Over the years, this client-centered approach has helped us secure many significant results, in employment-related injury disputes and otherwise.
"My father-in-law was involved in a horrible traffic accident. The firm was great at handling all of his questions. In the end they got him a great settlement, but the thing he remembers most is that the people at the law firm cared about him as a person. I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal services."