Injured workers often ask, “Why do I have to go to court if my case settled?” It’s a good question. The quick answer is that court approval of Alabama work comp settlements is meant to protect injured workers.
Let me give a little background. Alabama workers compensation benefits are limited. I think they are unfair for injured workers. Too many injured workers suffer needless hurdles and delays obtaining basic medical treatment. On top of that, disability benefits are often limited in both time and amount. The Alabama Legislature capped permanent partial benefits decades ago. Since then, the Legislature has ignored increases in the cost-of-living, leaving Alabama families with an injured breadwinner existing at the poverty level.
Our entire work comp system is unfair to workers. I’ve written multiple articles on this. Because the system is unfair, it’s even more important for seriously injured workers to obtain skilled legal counsel and fight for ALL available benefits. And, it becomes even more important for injured workers (with or without a lawyer) to have a safety system where a court can insure the insurance company is not taking advantage of them.