What are the qualifications for workers' compensation in Alabama?

Occupational injuries and deaths are common in Alabama and throughout the country. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 4.1 million employees sustain serious work-related injuries each year in the U.S. Furthermore, more than 4,500 workers are killed on the job each year. Under the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act, injured employees, and the families of deceased workers, may be provided benefits, including payment of medical expenses and disability compensation.

By law, businesses in the state of Alabama with five or more employees are generally required to obtain workers' compensation insurance for their workers. While the majority of workers in Alabama are eligible for this mandatory coverage, there are certain conditions that must exist in order for employees to receive benefits. According to the Alabama Department of Labor, only injuries that are sustained as the result of an accident are eligible for workers' compensation. Additionally, the accident must have occurred in the course of the injured workers' employment. In order to qualify, workers must also provide their employers with proper notice of the accident and resulting injury.

In addition to meeting the necessary eligibility conditions, there are also exceptions under which workers' claims for benefits may be negated. These exceptions include:

  • The injury was caused by the actions of a third person for personal reasons, and not for reasons related to the injured employee's employment.
  • The accident was caused by the worker's willful misconduct.
  • The employee intended to injure or kill himself or herself, or a co-worker.
  • The employee was under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time of the accident.

Furthermore, situations when employees willfully break rules or regulations set by their employers, as well as those in which employees neglect to use the safety appliances that their employers have provided, can also be grounds for workers' compensation exemptions.

This post has provided an overview of the qualifications and exceptions for workers' compensation coverage in the state of Alabama. It should, however, only be taken as general information and should not be considered professional legal advice.

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