An injury at work can be an overwhelming experience for many people, especially when the damages result in permanent disability. Workers' compensation insurance is often carried in the workplace to benefit employees and protect employers should a tragic accident occur. A local plant worker suffered severe injuries on the job, prompting his work accident claim and eventual legal action. A work accident claim instigated a recent court ruling in Alabama determining the confidentiality of a post-accident investigation report.
An Alabama man suffered job-related injuries at the recycling metal plant he worked at. The deep level of damage resulted in amputation of his leg and permanent disability. He filed a work accident claim and collected worker compensation benefits. In addition to the compensation, the victim made the decision to pursue additional legal action in civil court. A permanently injured employee may seek workers' comp benefits to help provide financial assistance to cover medical costs and future disability expenses they need to survive.
The employer did complete a post-accident investigation, though its procurement has been the center of debate. The employee petitioned to have the investigation report made available, and the employer fought to keep it confidential. The Alabama Supreme Court found the procurement of the analysis to have a high probability of being created in expectation of future litigation, protecting it under a work product doctrine. The higher courts decided that the previous civil trial court had surpassed its power in deciding the employer must present the investigation report and reversed the order.
The Supreme Court ruled that post-accident investigation reports may remain confidential if the employer anticipates a lawsuit from an employee with work-related injuries. When a person experiences the devastation and anxiety of being harmed at work, they may seek professional guidance in choosing the best direction to legally travel. Pursuing a work accident claim could result in adequate compensation for any debilitating injuries received.