Tell your employer!

Before a claim for workers’ compensation benefits can be made, the employee must provide the employer with notice of the workplace accident. Under Alabama law, an injured employee or the employee’s representative must submit written notice of the accident to the employer within 5 days after the occurrence of the accident. If notice is not given, the employee shall not be entitled to payment of medical fees nor any compensation which may have accrued under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, unless it can be shown that the party required to give notice had been prevented from doing so by reason of physical or mental incapacity.

An employer’s actual knowledge of the accident is sufficient to satisfy the written notice requirement. Actual knowledge is knowledge of such information that would put a reasonable person on inquiry. Oral notice to the employer may also be sufficient to give the employer actual knowledge of a work accident, but the employer must be notified that the injury occurred while in the line and scope of employment.

Notice needs to be provided to a superior, such as a supervisor or manager. If there is a specific person at the company that is tasked with the handling and reporting of on-the-job injuries, notice to that person is sufficient as well. Keep in mind that no compensation shall be payable unless written notice is given to the employer within 90 days after the occurrence of an accident.

Employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers will find any reason to deny your claim or stop your benefits, so promptly notifying your employer of your on-the-job accident is a crucial first step in getting the benefits you are entitled to. Contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys if you have any questions about your situation.