Mississippi Workers’ Comp Attorneys in Oxford, MS
For workers throughout Mississippi in various industries, workers’ compensation insurance helps to provide financial protection in the event of an on-the-job injury. If you have been hurt at work and think that you may have a workers’ compensation claim, our Mississippi workers’ compensation attorneys at The Pearson Law Firm can provide legal support and advocacy throughout the process. To learn more about workers’ compensation laws in our state and the advantages of working with an attorney, call us directly today. We offer free consultations.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance system. Under the workers’ compensation system, workers are insured; employers are required to carry this insurance. If a worker is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will pay for medical bills and direct payments to the worker if the injury results in the worker being unable to work.
One thing that’s important to note about workers’ compensation insurance is that it’s a no-fault insurance program. This means that workers’ have coverage regardless of fault—they do not need to prove anyone else’s fault in order to get compensation. In exchange for no-fault benefits, though, workers are also barred from filing a lawsuit against their employer for damages. In this way, employers enjoy immunity from liability.
Who’s Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Our State?
All companies with five or more employees in Mississippi are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to workers. However, while employees in most industries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, there are some exceptions. If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation and they are legally required to, then you have the right to file a lawsuit against them for damages if you’re hurt at work.
Benefits Provided by Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is designed to compensate workers who are injured during the course of their work-related activities for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability. Types of benefits that are potentially provided under workers’ compensation insurance include:
- The full value of a person’s necessary and reasonable medical expenses, including reimbursement for mileage to and from medical appointments
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Death benefits
Temporary disability benefits are paid to workers who require time off work while recovering from their injuries. These benefits are paid at a rate of 66 ⅔ percent of the worker’s average weekly wage before being injured, subject to a state-imposed maximum benefit level.
If you have a permanent disability that leaves you totally disabled and unable to work as a result of your workplace accident, you can receive compensation for permanent total disability. If you are partially disabled—you can do some work but not at the same level as before your injury—then you can receive permanent partial disability benefits. While the rate of payment is the same (⅔ of your weekly wage), the duration is based on Mississippi’s schedule of injuries and the nature of your permanent work restrictions.
Workers’ Compensation Process
It Starts When You Tell Your Manager
The workers’ compensation process starts when sick or injured workers report the matter to their employers. The employer then submits a report to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission and notifies the business’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
It is critical to immediately notify your supervisor when you are injured on the job. If too much time passes, and the claims process is not initiated, you may lose your right to benefits. Under Mississippi workers’ compensation laws, the injury should be reported to your employer within 30 days of the accident or the time that you become aware an illness is caused by work.
Make Sure You Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention is just as critical to your workers’ compensation claim as telling your manager. If you do not seek medical treatment, your claim may be denied. Worse, your injury or illness could become worse and possibly even become life-threatening.
You should let the healthcare professional who treats you know that you have been injured at work. This is because your medical records will be used to support your claim, and the medical records must state that the injury occurred at work—not during a personal activity on your own time.
If Your Claim Is Accepted: Benefits
If your claim is accepted, it will be paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Medical payments generally go directly to the doctors or other medical providers who treated you, while payments for lost wages go to you.
If Your Claim Is Denied: Appeal
Many employers don’t want to file a claim, and many workers’ compensation insurance companies are motivated to pay you as little as possible. If your employer is unfairly delaying filing your claim, get an attorney’s help. If you are denied benefits by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, your lawyer should review the reason for the denial and file an appeal in your county’s circuit court.
What to Do if a Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
When you’ve been injured at work, workers’ compensation benefits can make a huge difference in your ability to pay your medical bills and support yourself financially as you recover. While you may assume that you will be paid what you deserve, unfortunately, claims adjusters are often looking for ways to devalue or deny claims.
If your claim is denied by the employer and carrier for any reason, you will need an attorney to controvert the claim, which begins a process by which your attorney can gather and present proof supporting your claim to an Administrative Judge, who will make a determination as to your entitlement to workers compensation benefits. In some situations, your attorney can even force the workers compensation carrier to pay for an independent medical examination to have a neutral doctor address whether your injury is work-related.
The Role of a Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It’s important to remember that insurance adjusters are quick to lowball or deny claims. Having an experienced attorney on your side can improve your chances of being offered the settlement that you deserve.
An experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney can provide aggressive legal representation throughout the process, doing things such as:
- Help you get to a skilled doctor, who is loyal to you rather than the insurance carrier
- Gather evidence related to the workplace injury and gather medical evidence and records
- Answer all of your questions related to the workers’ compensation process, including:
- How to obtain compensation after a workplace injury
- What to do when a claim is denied
- What the process entails and what to expect
- How to protect your rights after an on-the-job injury
- Take depositions of witnesses, medical experts, and any other relevant parties
- Represent you in all conversations and negotiations with the workers’ compensation insurer
- Protect you from retaliation
- Appeal your claim if it is denied
- Ensure that all claim documents are filed within the required amount of time
An attorney will also be available to answer your questions and keep you apprised of the process every step of the way. Workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they are paid based on a percentage of your what you receive, no out-of-pocket costs or retainer fees. If your case isn’t successful, you won’t owe any attorney fees.
Reach Out to Our Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
At The Pearson Law Firm, we understand how terrifying being injured on the job is. We know that when you’ve been injured at work, you have dozens of questions about how to afford your medical bills, keep food on the table while you’re not working, whether your employer will retaliate against you for filing a claim, and more.
We are here to provide answers to your questions and make sure your legal rights are represented throughout the entire process. For your free consultation, please reach out to our law firm online, in person, or by phone at (662) 371-6309.