If you’ve sustained a work-related injury, your employer may be held responsible. Workplace injuries are common and workers must make sure they’re following guidelines. However, if something goes wrong the employee should know their rights.
There are a few things any employee should be aware of when it comes to dealing with a workplace injury. This post will explain your employee rights, what is considered a workplace injury and the employee’s responsibilities.
Your rights as an employee
When you signed a contract with your company, you became a liability for your employer. This also gives you some employee rights. First off, you have the right to file a claim for your injury in workers compensation court or the state industrial court.
Second, you have the right to see a doctor and pursue medical treatment. If you are released by your physician, you have the right to return to work. In addition, if you are unable to return to work due to your injury you have the right to some type of disability compensation.
Lastly, if you disagree at any point with your employer, the employer’s insurance company, or the workers' compensation court, you have the right to appeal the decision. Throughout the process, you have the right of lawyer representation.
As an employee, it is important to understand your right to act as well as your right to refuse certain requests or offers. In the state of Alabama, the workers’ compensation laws provide that you receive the proper payment of compensation benefits along with the necessary medical attention.
What is considered a workplace injury
Before you can file a claim, you need to be sure that your injury is indeed a workplace injury. The basic requirements to be labeled a workplace injury are that which happened while doing your work duties or something on behalf of your employer.
Any company-hosted event can also be considered a work duty. This includes picnics, holiday parties or other social events. A work-related injury may occur at one of these events, and even if alcohol is involved, it may still be considered a workplace injury.
An injury that occurs during a lunch break does not typically constitute a work-related injury since it happened on your own time.
If you have a preexisting condition that is worsened through your work duties, it will most likely be considered work-related. In addition, any mental health conditions that are developed during your employment are typically going to fall under a workplace injury.
What is not considered a workplace injury in the state of Alabama? The Alabama Department of Labor has a list of exceptions:
When the accident is caused by the willful misconduct of the employee.
When caused by the act of a third person or fellow employee for personal reasons, and not directed against him as an employee or because of his employment.
By the employee's intention to bring about the injury or death of himself or another.
By the employee's intoxication from alcohol or use of illegal drugs.
By failure or willful refusal to use safety appliances provided by the employer.
By willful refusal or willful neglect of the employee to perform a statutory duty.
By the employee's willful breach of a reasonable rule or regulation of the employer, of which rule or regulation the employee has knowledge.
Even as an employee, you have some responsibilities when it comes to safety in the workplace. It is your responsibility to take care of your own health and safety as well as your coworkers. At no point should you put someone else in harm’s way.
It is also important for a new employee to familiarize themselves with the company’s health and safety policies. According to nidirect, it is crucial to tell your employer if something happens that might affect your ability to work, like becoming pregnant or suffering an injury. This is because your employer has a legal responsibility for your health and safety, they may need to suspend you while they find a solution to the issue or problem, but you will normally be paid if this happens
If you are provided with PPE, it is important that you wear that gear at all times while conducting your workplace duties. It is just as important that the employee follows rules and guidelines as it is that the employer does.
Contact the lawyers at Barfoot & Schoettker today if you have suffered a work-related injury and need a lawyer. Call (334) 834-3444 or submit a free case evaluation form electronically.