Articles Posted in Workers’ Compensation

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Huntsville Workers Compensation AdvocatesAre you being watched? If you have an Alabama work comp claim, the insurance company may conduct surveillance on you. I often tell my injured clients — If the insurance company videos you, we will only see the 5 minutes when you felt good and looked unhurt. We’ll never see the hours of agony and pain.

My favorite surveillance story involves a work comp case I tried many years ago in Huntsville. The insurance company and its lawyer fought aggressively. On the eve of trial, they expected to win. They thought they had surveillance that would destroy our case. The video showed a man lifting big truck tires, loading his truck and performing some pretty heavy work. That sounds pretty bad when your case involves a lower back injury and significant physical restrictions. But, they had a huge problem! A huge problem! And, they did not know it. The guy on the video was not my client. It was the wrong guy. The video showed my client’s brother. Plus, we had proof my client was somewhere else on the day of the surveillance. It made for some fun courtroom action at trial. Nothing like bursting the insurance company’s bubble! We won the case for our injured client.

Over the years, I’ve dealt with surveillance issues many times. It’s not an issue in every case. Most of the time, it’s not an issue at all. But, it is something every lawyer should discuss with his injured client.

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Last month, I wrote a lengthy article on five big mistakes that can impact a work-related injury claim in Alabama. You can read that earlier post at Top Five Mistakes Workers Make After A Job-Related Accident.

I talk to injured Alabama workers every week. We discuss a lot of workers’ compensation issues. Often, callers have made one of these mistakes before contacting us. Sometimes, we can help fix the situation. But, in some cases, it’s too late to help. So, I hope the information in my longer article is useful.

With these issues in mind, I put together this quick infographic which notes these five big mistakes we frequently see. If you are hurt on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can be very important to your health, to your finances and to your family. Feel free to keep my infographic or read my longer article. If you have any questions about Alabama workers’ compensation benefits, let me know.

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I recently wrote a post that discussed four of the most common accidents involving worksite trenches. You can read the post by clicking HERE. I wrote my earlier article because of the frequent number of deadly trench-related accidents across Alabama. In just the last couple years, we’ve suffered deadly trench collapses in Huntsville, Madison and Hoover. In addition to those fatal accidents, a Tuscaloosa company lost workers when a trench in Mississippi collapsed.

With a little safety effort, most deadly trench accidents could be prevented. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published standards and a clear fact sheet related to trenches on worksites. Safety professionals are well-aware of the hazards and the easy steps which would prevent disasters.

For detailed information, you can read my prior article. After writing that earlier article, I created the following slideshow on the issue:

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Blackwell Law Firm / HuntsvilleYou suffered an accident at work. You are hurting. You see the company doctor. Then, the insurance company denies your claim. The insurance company refuses to provide more treatment or benefits. The adjuster claims you cannot get benefits because you suffered a prior injury to the same part of your body. The adjuster claims your new injury is just a “recurrence” of a prior injury, years earlier. Of course, the time limit for filing a claim on the old injury has long since expired.

Many times, the adjuster is simply wrong. The insurance company wrongly denied your claim. And, you are likely entitled to work comp benefits.

This is a common problem. It’s not unusual to have a prior injury, especially if you are working a hard job. Keep in mind — Workers compensation benefits are NOT limited to people who were in perfect health. Although you may have hurt the same area of your body previously, you may still be entitled to benefits for your new accident. Even if your prior accident was pretty serious or left you with some problems, you may still be entitled to benefits for your new accident.

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Decatur Work Comp AttorneysYesterday evening, I read that an injured Daikin America worker remains in the intensive care unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) more than two months after his exposure to a chemical on the job at Daikan in Decatur. According to reports, three workers were hospitalized following the July 2 accident. One of the three workers has since passed away from his injuries.

Was this chemical exposure an isolated incident? No. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a worker also died in 2019 following an exposure at the same plant.

Think about that! A worker dies following an exposure in 2019. Two years later, three more workers are exposed. Hopefully, we can learn what happened in these exposures. I’m real interested in learning what Daikin did (or did not do) to correct its safety procedures after the first incident!

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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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