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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation Claims in Mississippi
What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident?
Your first step is to immediately let your supervisor or employer know about the accident. Your employer will need to notify the insurance company and/or the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission right away so the sooner you let them know, the better. You have to within 30 days to let your employer know about the accident. After the accident, you should fill out a workplace injury report to have a record of what happened and what injuries you sustained.
Once your employer is notified and a workplace injury report has been filled out, make sure your injuries are checked out by a physician. Even if you feel fine after the accident, there may be internal injuries that won’t show until hours or days later.
Finally, the injured worker should speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney to learn the options available and what obstacles they may be facing.
Do I Need a Worker Injury Attorney for My Claim?
Most times, workers’ compensation claims are handled in a routine manner with no disputes. If your claim is being mishandled or you were denied, it’s best to speak with an experienced Mississippi workers’ comp attorney to learn what your next steps should be.
Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
According to Mississippi workers’ compensation law, you have the right to either accept medical treatment from a physician chosen by your employer or you can select your own doctor. Your doctor can refer you to one specialist. However, it’s important to note that additional referrals will need to be approved by your employer.
What if My Workers’ Compensation is Denied?
If your claim is denied, you do have the option to appeal the decision to the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission. Remember you need to have evidence to prove a workplace accident caused your injuries. It’s a wise decision to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney if you received a denial letter to learn your options.
What If I Caused the Accident? Can I Still Get Benefits?
Yes. Workers’ compensation in Mississippi is a no-fault system. This means that as long as you were on the job at the time of the accident, you are eligible to receive benefits, even if you caused the accident.
Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Travel Expenses?
Yes. According to Mississippi law, injured workers are reimbursed for travel expenses related to their on-the-job injury. The mileage rate for 2022 is $0.585 per mile.
Our Jackson Workers’ Compensation Lawyer is Here to Help
If you got into an accident while on the job and are experiencing trouble with your claim, the sooner you speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Jackson, MS, the better. For two decades, Giddens Law Firm has been helping injured workers throughout Mississippi with their claims. We can advise you on your next steps, represent you if your claim was denied, and help you with a third party claim against another party.
Time is never on your side in an injury claim. The sooner you file your lawsuit, the better your chances are to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your injury. Contact a Jackson workers’ compensation lawyer at Giddens Law Firm today for a free consultation. We do not get paid until we win your claim.