Articles Posted in Workers’ Compensation

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Huntsville Workers Compensation LawyersI talk to injured workers in Alabama every day. If you are hurt on the job, you are likely entitled to work comp benefits. Those benefits should provide needed medical care and compensation. Too often, they do not. Alabama law is very unfair. Injured workers face many problems.

I could write a book discussing the many ways our work comp laws are unfair to injured workers. I have discussed many of those issues in prior articles on this blog. Today, I want to focus on five early mistakes injured workers make that can harm their claims.

The Worker Does NOT Report The Accident (IN WRITING) In A Timely Manner

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Construction Accidents & InjuriesLast month, OSHA proposed fines against a company for a deadly Huntsville-area trench collapse. What happened? The fatal accident occurred at a local construction site along Jeff Road. The worker entered a deep trench to work on some underground utility pipes. The trench then collapsed, suffocating the worker under thousands of pounds of soil.

After investigating this fatal construction accident, OSHA concluded the contractor failed to inspect its trenches and failed to use a proper shield system for preventing cave-ins. In issuing proposed penalties against the Huntsville contractor, OSHA’s area director said the following:

Trenching and excavation is among the most dangerous work in the construction industry. The failure to use required safety equipment and follow procedures in this case turned a preventable hazard into a fatal result. We hope other industry employers comply with the law and take appropriate actions to avoid similar tragedies.

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Happy Labor Day 2021! Every day, we have the privilege and honor of helping workers across Alabama. Today, we say thank you to the men and women who work to build our towns and communities.


Blackwell Law Firm - Helping Alabama Workers

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Workplace Assault InjuryEarlier this year, I wrote an article discussing work comp benefits and workplace assaults. You can read that article here:

Assaulted In The Workplace And Need Work Comp?

Workplace assaults are common for many professions. Think about nurses and the large number of difficult encounters they face with patients and families. Think about restaurant workers and other service industry professionals who interact with customers on a daily basis. Think about law enforcement officers and other first responders who deal with the public during the worse possible events. Just this morning, I read a headline on al.com about a FedEx driver who was shot by another driver in a road rage incident in Birmingham. Workplace assaults are not unusual. Many professions are impacted.

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersI just read an interesting article titled:

The Walmart Stocker Who Quit And Told Off Her Bosses Over The Intercom

The article was published late last year. How did I miss it? Apparently, the Walmart employee reached the breaking point and quit over the store-wide intercom. That’s right — The employee quit over the intercom, telling everyone in the store exactly how she felt. Like the old Johnny Paycheck song, it was a real “take this job and shove it” moment.

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Huntsville Accident & Injury LawyersIn recent months, we’ve been asked numerous times whether or not companies can require employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. When I last checked a few days ago, the vaccination rate in Alabama was below 30%. That low rate puts Alabama near the bottom of states. With such a low rate of vaccination, many healthcare professionals remain very concerned about spikes in COVID-19 infections. We can do much better.

Will more companies try to require coronavirus vaccinations? If COVID-19 cases start increasing significantly, I suspect we will see many more companies begin requiring vaccinations. Companies with offices and plants across the United States may also establish general company-wide policies related to vaccinations.

Do We Have Any Clear Legal Guidance Concerning COVID-19 Vaccinations?

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Alabama Accident & Injury AttorneysOn May 7, the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion in Register v. Outdoor Aluminum, Inc.. The case addressed a claim of retaliatory discharge for filing a work comp claim in Alabama. Every so often, the court issues an opinion reminding everyone how difficult these cases are to prove. Let’s take a look at some of the issues.

Retaliatory Discharge:  An Exception To At-Will Employment

The general rule in Alabama is that employment is “at-will.” What does at-will employment mean? It means you can be fired for any reason at all. Your employer does not need a good or justifiable reason to terminate you.

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Alabama Lawyers For The InjuredOne employer recently learned a hard lesson — Ignoring FMLA rights for employees injured at-work can get you sued! When people think about work-related accidents and injuries, they always think workers’ compensation. They should. Work comp provides necessary medical care and disability benefits. But, don’t forget the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may also provide important leave and job protections for injured and ill employees.

What Does The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Provide?

What benefits are provided by FMLA? The FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in a year. The FMLA also entitles covered employees to return to their same or an equivalent job after this leave.

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Blackwell Law Firm -- Helping Injured Healthcare WorkersSeveral years ago I wrote about one of the most dangerous jobs when it comes to work-related injuries — Nursing. You can read my prior article at, Health Care Workers Have High Rates Of Injury. At one time, a National Public Radio (NPR) study even called nursing “one of the most dangerous jobs in America.”

What about jobs like construction or law enforcement? Those professions have pretty high risks of injury. According to research, back and other injuries occur at much higher rates in nursing than in the construction industry.

Think about it. Nurses are on their feet for pretty long shifts. And, they regularly lift or move heavy patients. How many professions require a worker to routinely lift or move objects weighing over 100 pounds? Not many. Keep in mind — Some patients don’t cooperate which makes the lifting much more difficult. Ask a hospital nurse about moving an uncooperative patient!

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Alabama Accident & Injury Attorneys“He left a voice message yelling at me!” That’s how one injured worker’s story began. “He acted like a jerk.” The worker continued to describe how he suffered a bad lifting injury to his lower back at work. He required surgery. He now suffers chronic pain and limitations. He could not return to work.

Why did his lawyer leave a nasty voice message for him? It comes down to this — The lawyer wanted him to accept a quick settlement. The problem — That settlement was totally unfair and would have left the disabled worker in worse shape a year or two from now.

The guy needed a lawyer who would prepare his case. He needed a lawyer who would discuss how Alabama work comp benefits are calculated, who would develop the medical evidence, and who would prepare the case for the best possible trial. He needed a lawyer in his corner!

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