The Fight for Fire Fighter’s Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The following is the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals opinion regarding Jim Phillips’ workers’ compensation case for occupational heart disease arising from his employment as a firefighter for the City of Hoover. Jim Phillips, a veteran firefighter, suffered from a heart attack that left him totally disabled. I tried this case in Shelby County, Alabama and was able to both clarify and establish the law regarding occupational heart disease for firefighters. Continue reading →
The calculation of workers’ compensation benefits has confused, baffled, and eluded attorneys since Alabama adopted the Workers’ Compensation Act in 1909. The confusion is created by the various types of workers’ compensation benefits allowed by the statute and the plethora of exceptions and combinations of benefits allowed by the statutes and interpretations thereof by our appellate courts. Those of us who primarily practice workers’ compensation litigation often do not calculate the injured employee’s benefit’s correctly which can cause the employee to be underpaid or the employer to pay too much in benefits. Therefore, it is extremely important for the practitioner to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the calculation of benefits to properly represent our clients. Continue reading →
One of the most difficult and complex types of workers’ compensation cases is that which involves mental injuries. These cases are difficult to litigate for both the employee and the employer due to the often complex issues of medical and legal causation and extent of vocational impairment. However, the numbers of workers’ compensation claims in which a mental injury or disorder is involved is on the increase. The medical community is increasingly diagnosing injured workers with mental disorders such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the injured workers’ accident and/or subsequent pain and disabilities in conjunction with the physical injuries suffered by the worker. The appellate courts are affirming trial court awards of permanent and total disability which included mental disorders and disabilities and physical disabilities. Continue reading →