Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding workers’ compensation in Alabama that Montgomery attorney Chip Nix hears most often as he travels the state helping injured workers obtain their benefits. If you have other questions or need help getting workers’ comp after an on-the-job injury, call Chip Nix, Attorney at Law, at 334-279-7770 for a free consultation.
Q. What does workers’ compensation pay for?
A. Workers’ Compensation should pay 100% of your medical treatment for as long as you need it. This includes all reasonably necessary medical, surgical and chiropractic treatment, medicine, medical supplies, etc. Additionally, you should receive benefits equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage (subject to statutory maximums and minimums) for up to 300 weeks for a partial disability or an unlimited period for a total disability if you have such a disability.
Q. How do I know if I am covered under workers’ compensation insurance?
A. If you work for an employer that has five or more employees, your employer is most likely required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance in place. Also, you must be an employee and not an independent contractor. Some companies misclassify their workers as contractors to avoid having to pay minimum wage, overtime, or workers’ compensation benefits. If you are injured on the job and are unsure whether you are covered for workers’ compensation benefits, call Chip Nix at 334-279-7770 for a free consultation.
Q. Can I choose my own doctor?
A. Not exactly. Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier will refer you to a doctor called an “authorized treating physician,” that they want you to see. If you are not happy with this doctor and want to see someone else, you can select another physician from a list of four doctors provided by the carrier.
Q. What if the employer denies my claim for benefits?
A. You can call the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Alabama Department of Labor and ask to speak to an Examiner, or you can retain an attorney to file your claim in court.
Q. How long do I have to file my claim in court?
A. You have up to two years from the date of your accident or your last workers’ comp payment to file a complaint in court. However, you should pursue your claim expeditiously.
Q. How much do you charge to represent me?
A. The amount of attorney’s fees are fixed by the workers’ compensation judge and cannot exceed 15% of your total award. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will not charge any fee unless we obtain a recovery for you. The fee for representation in a retaliatory discharge or third-party claim is higher than 15%.