Benefits Available to Injured Workers in Alabama: Understanding Medical Benefits

The Alabama Workers' Compensation Act is expressly intended to provide medical benefits to injured workers. In order to begin to receive medical benefits, you should read about the first steps to take when you are injured. In order to be eligible for workers' compensation medical benefits, there are a few simple requirements: 

  • The worker must have been acting in the line and scope of employment
  • The injury must not be a result of drug or alcohol intoxication

If you have questions, you can read more about whether your injury will be covered under workers' compensation

What Medical Benefits are provided?

Alabama's Workers' Compensation Act recognizes that work-related injuries can be both physically and financially distressing. Consequently, the law mandates employers to provide comprehensive medical benefits to injured workers, ensuring they receive necessary medical care without any out-of-pocket expenses.

Full Coverage of Medical Expenses:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Injured workers are entitled to have all their medical expenses covered. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, prescription medications, and even medical appliances if deemed necessary.
  • No Monetary Caps: Alabama does not impose a cap on the amount an employer has to pay for an injured worker's medical treatment. The treatment simply needs to be reasonably required and appropriately connected to the work-related injury.

Who Selects the Authorized Treating Physician? 

Your employer gets to choose your doctor. You do not get to consult your regular physician for medical treatment unless your employer approves. In fact, consulting medical treatment without approval of your employer may result in your employer not paying for the medical expense. 

However, if you do not like the doctor, you can request a second opinion. There is a procedure required to request a second opinion, and you are only allowed to do it once, so it is a good idea to consult with an attorney before usuing that option. You are invited to contact me if you want to discuss your claim in further detail. 

Duration of Medical Benefits | MMI | FCE

Medical benefits are provided for as long as is reasonably necessary to treat the work-related injury. At some point, however, you reach a point where your condition has improved as much as it is going to improve. This does not always mean you are healed, but that your condition has plateaud. Your Authorized Treating Physician will determine that you have reached a point of Maximum Medical Improvement, which is commonly referred to as "MMI."  

Once you reach MMI, it is common, but not mandatory, that your Authorized Treating Physician will order a test to evaluate the extent of your permanent injuries. This test is known as a Functional Capacity Evaluation, or "FCE", and is commonly conducted at a physical therapy facility. Whether your injury and treatment requires an FCE is determined by your Authorized Treating Physician. 

Regardless, there is no limit to the duration of your medical benefits. They last for as long as you require treatment unless you choose to close that right as part of your settlement. 

Additional Benefits

Mileage Reimbursement

Travel Costs: Injured workers in Alabama are entitled to be reimbursed for the mileage accrued when traveling to and from medical appointments related to their work injury.

Future Medical Treatment

Long-term Care: In situations where an injury requires long-term care or periodic check-ups, the employer is responsible for these future medical treatments as long as they are related to the work injury.

Rehabilitation Services

Physical Therapy & More: Beyond immediate medical treatment, injured workers may also be entitled to rehabilitation services. This can include physical therapy, vocational training, or other services that help the injured worker recover and potentially return to work.

Medical Benefit Disputes

  • Contested Treatments: There might be times when an employer or their insurance company disputes a particular treatment, deeming it unnecessary. In such cases, injured workers have the right to challenge such decisions.
  • Consultation with Workers' Compensation Lawyers: Disputes over medical treatments underscore the importance of consulting with experienced workers' compensation attorneys in Alabama who can guide workers through the complexities of the system.


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Understanding Your Rights

While the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act is designed to protect workers, understanding and accessing these benefits can sometimes be daunting.

  • Timely Reporting: To ensure that you qualify for medical benefits, report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. This not only protects your rights but also accelerates the medical care process.
  • Medical Documentation: Always keep copies of all medical documentation. This will be crucial if there's a dispute about the nature or extent of the injury.
  • Legal Assistance: In cases of disputes or if you feel your rights are being overlooked, seeking out dedicated workers' compensation lawyers in Alabama can make a significant difference.

Medical benefits under the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act serve as a lifeline for injured workers, ensuring they receive the care they need without the burden of medical bills. By understanding these benefits and knowing when to seek legal assistance, workers can focus on what truly matters: healing and recovery.

Additional Reading

Recent Alabama Decisions Related to this Subject

Free Initial Strategy Session

All Initial Strategy Sessions are Free. If you would like to discuss your options, you are invited to fill out one of the Contact Forms. I will attempt to contact you if I think I can help you.

During your Initial Strategy Session, I will asist you in creating a strategy on how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a Car Accident Claim, 18 Wheeler Injury, or, Alabama Workers' Compensation Claim. At your Initial Strategy Session, you will receive the following:

  • First - I will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information that you provide, I will give you my best advice on both what claims you have, and the next steps you should consider to proceed with your claim(s).
  • If your claim is something that I think I can help you with, I will explain the services that I can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that I do not think I can help you with, then I will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unkowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed some light on what you can expect, and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.

Don't delay getting the recovery you deserve! Contact us today for your free Strategy Session!

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