If you have been injured while working, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier will pay you generally about two-thirds of your wages while you are off work. In addition to compensation, known as temporary total disability benefits, your authorized medical treatment including doctor’s visits, physical therapy, surgery, prescription medication and mileage will be paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier.
What if you need help with your day to day activities while recovering from an on-the job accident? This question was answered in a recent Alabama Supreme Court decision in Alabama Forrest Products Industry Workmen’s Compensation Self Insurer’s Fund v. Harris. In this case, the injured worker was permanently limited in his day to day activities to the point where he needed help every day with these activities. The Court found that the employer was responsible for this care when the care would keep the employee’s condition from deteriorating. Thus, if the care helped the employee’s condition from getting worse or for the injury to get better, then the employer was liable to the employee for reimbursement for this care.
Another issue decided in this case is where this care may come from. Previously, this care could only come from non-family medical care providers and could not be a family member that was caring for the injured worker. However, this has been changed to allow for non-professional family members to be allowed to give care as well. Thus, if you are injured in a work-related accident and you need every day care with your day to day activities, you may select either a professional or non-professional family member to provide this care and be compensated by your employer for this care.
Your employer is required to compensate you for assistance with daily living activities. This compensation is required only if your injury hinders you from performing daily activities that will cause your injury to get worse or would help the condition to improve. The person who helps with your activities may be either a professional or a non-professional family member. The person may be paid and then your employer will reimburse you for this expense.
If you have any questions about your workers’ compensation benefits, please call the attorneys at the Nomberg Law Firm (205) 930-6900 or contact us here.