Chelsea, AL asked in Workers' Compensation and Construction Law for Alabama

Q: Should I sue for workmanship comp settlement.

I was doing commercial construcvetion and a scaffold that wasnt put together correctly, by someone else collapsed while I was on it. I had to have a plate put in my clavicle, and had problems walking for months because of my sciatic nerve, had to rehab for it. They paid my weekly payment until I was released. They then offered me 1,000 and said they'd keep medical open. My sciatic nerve bothers me sometimes, but the plate in my clavicle bothers me constantly. Always hurting or sore. I didnt take the 1,000. It's almost been 2 years. The dr told me all he could do if it bothers me is take out, that was his only option, that's what he told me after surgery, if it didnt heal right....

1 Lawyer Answer
Jeffrey G. Blackwell
Jeffrey G. Blackwell
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: Thanks for the question. You actually may have two possible cases. You certainly have a workers compensation case. You also may have what is commonly called a third-party case against the company that installed the scaffolding. In Alabama, you typically cannot sue your own employer or co-workers for their negligence. In other words, you are limited to work comp benefits from them. However, you can sue someone outside your employer if they act negligently and cause the injury. Keep that in mind. The damages you can recover in a third-party case will likely be greater than the comp case.

Workers compensation benefits in Alabama are determined by certain math formulas. I'm concerned with the small amount of your offer. I would need some helpful information in order to advise you. I would definitely like to know how your injured clavicle (shoulder area) and injured sciatic nerve limit your ability to function and work. I would also like to know if you have been able to return to your prior employment or something comparable. These facts are very important to the comp benefits that may be available for you.

If you call my office, I'm happy to talk with you. Our consultations are always free. We can run through the potential compensation and options with you. Our number is 256-261-1315. You can also email me. I would recommend a couple things in this Answer. First, if you want to talk about your options, call or email me privately since we will be discussing your confidential medical conditions. Second, make sure any lawyers you consult are experienced in handling both work comp and third-party cases together. We are. We frequently handle these claims.

Last, your answer references that it has almost been 2 years. It sounds as if you realize the statute of limitations is rapidly approaching. It is two years from the date of the injury in Alabama for these types of claims.

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