Workers’ Compensation LAwyer
Injured While on the Job? We Can Help!
After a work-related accident, injured workers trust that employers will make sure the bills will be paid. However, this does not always occur. In fact, many employers and insurance companies don’t fully understand the complexities of the workers’ compensation process in Mississippi. They will do whatever they can to prevent paying out your claim. If this occurs, it’s best to speak with the experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers at Giddens Law Firm to know your rights.
At Giddens Law Firm, we understand the workers’ compensation system and can help you get the workers’ comp benefits you need while you heal from your work-related injury. And if the accident was caused by a third party, we can handle the third party claim to get you the maximum amount of compensation available.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi?
According to the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission, workers’ compensation offers insurance benefits to an employee that is paid for by their employer. No matter how slight the injury, as long as the accident occurred during the course and scope of your employment, you are entitled to these benefits. Also covered are occupational illnesses and work-related deaths.
Most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and employers with more than five employees are required to provide workers’ comp insurance. There are, however, exceptions. The following types of employees are not eligible:
- Domestic and farm labor
- Employees of non-profit fraternal, charitable, religious, or cultural organizations
- Employees that are covered by federal compensation laws such as federal employees and certain transportation and maritime employments
Independent contractors are usually excluded from coverage; yet, there are special protections given to employees of subcontractors.
What Workers’ Compensations Benefits Are You Entitled to?
There are three basic benefits available for injured workers in Mississippi:
Any medical expenses that are the result of your on-the-job injury will be paid by workers’ compensation insurance. These include but are not limited to doctor visits, physical therapy, medication, medical equipment, and hospital stays. Unlike disability payments, medical benefits can last for the rest of your life. For example, after recovering from a back injury, you return to work. But, after a few weeks, your back still bothers you and you are unable to lift any heavy objects. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy, which will be paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Even though it may be weeks or months after the accident, your injury can still be paid for by workers’ comp.
If your injury requires you to miss time at work, you are entitled to temporary disability benefits that equal as much as two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Once you reach maximum medical improvement, as determined by your doctor, and are still unable to return to work, you may be eligible for either disability benefits.
There are three types of disability benefits you may receive:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits: You will receive this type of benefit if you are unable to work because of the injury. While you are out of work, you will receive approximately 66% of your salary. You can receive workers’ compensation benefits for a total of 450 weeks or until your doctor had determined you can return to work.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits: If you are unable to work because of the injuries, you may receive permanent total disability benefits. Like temporary total disability, you will stop receiving the benefits after 450 weeks and you will only receive two-thirds of your salary.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: Permanent partial disability benefits are used when you have reached your maximum medical improvement, but your injury will never heal. This benefit is available to those who suffered a life-changing injury, such as an amputation.
If a loved one dies in a workplace accident, according to the workers’ compensation law, the surviving spouse and dependents will receive death benefits. These benefits are payable every two weeks for up to 450 weeks after the death. In addition, the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company are obligated to pay up to $5,000 in funeral expense and provide a lump sum payment of $1,000 for the surviving spouse.
What is a Third Party Claim?
If a negligent individual caused your workplace injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that person. This is referred to as “third-party liability” — an individual or entity that is separate from your employer that caused the accident. Examples of third parties include contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, and drivers who caused a car accident.
The following is an example of a third party case we were involved in recently: A forklift was left on a construction site and that forklift was rented in an unsafe condition or improperly used. For men used the forklift and while it was fully extended over 35 feet in the air it tipped over and crashed. Workers’ compensation benefits paid for the medical bills and temporary or total disability of the survivors. However, issues against the contractor, subcontractors, heavy equipment rental agencies, or manufacturers had to be immediately investigated. Our personal injury lawyer was able to file a successful personal injury claim against the contractor for the accident.
It’s important to note that you are unable to sue your employer for a workplace injury. Although the employer may have violated federal or state safety regulations, they do not have to pay for their negligence.
How Can I Find the Right Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Jackson?
When you are interviewing a prospective attorney or firm, ask the tough questions about whether this prospective firm has had success in the courtroom with workers’ compensation lawsuits. Get details such as where was the case tried and what was the verdict.
While every case is factually different, a Jackson workers’ compensation lawyer with experience in handling the type of case you have is a good place to start. What you have to understand when hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, you have to trust that the law firm will always put your interests first and keep you informed throughout the process.
Personal injury is what we have done for more than 22 years. We are not afraid to roll our sleeves up and handle tough cases for clients against big insurance companies with unlimited resources.
If you or a loved one has sustained a workplace accident and is having trouble with your workers’ compensation claim, our workers’ compensation lawyers will help you. With years of experience in worker injuries, we can help you through the complexities of a workers’ comp claim and help you with a third-party claim if necessary.
Time is often not on your side in injury cases; it is imperative you take immediate action as soon as possible. Please call our Jackson, MS workers’ compensation attorneys today for a free consultation at 888-335-2022.