The Alabama Workers' Compensation Act is designed, in part, to streamline the process involved in injured workers' making claims for benefits. The dollar amount of compensation due to injured workers is based the area of the body that was impacted, and the degree of permanent damage inflicted by the work-related injury. The Alabama Workers' Compensation Act provides a schedule of body parts, and a corresponding mathematical formula for determining compensation for many types of injuries, see
Ala. Code §25-5-57.
Noticeably absent from the schedule of compensation are injuries suffered to the back and neck. Injuries to these areas can be more complicated to treat, as there are a wide range of treatment options. Furthermore, injuries to the back and neck can be more difficult to predict in terms of recovery and the benefit gained from the various treatment options.
Therefore, in claims involving injury to the back or neck, the process for determining a fair and just amount of compensation due the injured worker is more complicated and nuanced than the process involved for injuries to body parts that are part of the schedule. The parties are required to consider a wider range of factors, such as future earning capacity and the impact the back or neck injury is going to have on the workers' ability to earn and income, and the future medical treatment or pain management that will be required. The wide range of outcomes in back and neck injuries contribute to the potential for controversy of the fair and just resolution of such claims.
If you or someone you know has sustained a back or neck injury in a work-accident, contact us here at Stephen F. Thompson, Attorney at Law today!