Most people who work outside the home spend a significant portion of their day at work.
While most employers take all the necessary precautions to ensure a safe workplace, accidents happen.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
The Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers at the Harris Law Firm have more than 30 years of experience helping injured workers pursue the benefits they need and deserve.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a mandatory insurance program for most Mississippi employers. Qualifying employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which covers the medical expenses and lost wages of any employee who gets hurt while on the job. Workers’ compensation also covers illnesses and diseases related to a workers’ employment.
The workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system. This means that an injured worker does not need to prove that anyone else was at fault for their injuries. Even if you were partially at fault for your own injuries, you may still recover workers’ compensation benefits.
However, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can still be a challenge. This is because your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier may dispute your claim.
For example, an insurance company may argue any of the following:
- Your injuries were not due to your employment;
- Your injuries are not as serious as you claim; or
- You should be able to return to work sooner than your doctor says.
Thus, an experienced Mississippi workers’ comp attorney is an important asset to anyone considering a workers’ compensation claim.
What Are the Benefits for Injured Workers?
Injured workers can recover two main types of benefits through a workers’ compensation claim: medical benefits and income-replacement or wage-loss benefits.
Medical benefits cover all the medical expenses that are reasonably related to a workplace accident. For example, medical benefits may pay for the following.
- Emergency room visits,
- Follow-up doctors’ appointments,
- Physical therapy,
- Medication, and
- Assistive devices, such as crutches or a wheelchair.
The other type of workers’ comp benefits provides you with ongoing income to replace the wages you would have earned if you weren’t injured. The amount of wage-loss benefits you receive will depend on your income.
Generally, you will receive temporary benefits that equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage until you can return to work, subject to a weekly maximum.
However, you can only receive temporary benefits for a certain period of time or until you reach your maximum medical improvement. At this point, you will continue to receive benefits only if you suffer from a permanent disability.
The workers’ comp system also provides for death benefits in the tragic event that an employee is killed in an on-the-job accident.
Workers’ compensation death benefits are paid every two weeks, up to 450 weeks. Grieving families may also qualify for $5,000 in burial expenses and an immediate $1,000 lump-sum payment.
If you suffered an injury on the job, the thought of applying for workers’ comp benefits may feel overwhelming. An experienced Mississippi workers’ comp lawyer can take over the heavy lifting, so you can focus on your recovery while knowing that your claim is being handled efficiently.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury?
The workers’ compensation system is a bit of a mystery to most employees, and understandably so. Many workers go their entire careers without filing a claim. However, if you get hurt on the job, it is important you follow these steps to protect your rights:
- Report the accident to your employer as required by company policy;
- Take detailed notes of everything your employer tells you;
- Get immediate medical attention;
- Document all medical care you obtain; and
- Follow up on doctors’ recommendations.
Once you are ready to apply for benefits, reach out to a dedicated Mississippi workers’ comp attorney for assistance preparing and filing your claim.
Injured Workers Can Contact the Harris Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been hurt on the job, reach out to the knowledgeable Mississippi workers’ comp attorneys at the Harris Law Firm.
We founded the Harris Law Firm in 1991 to help injured people navigate the recovery process, so they can obtain the compensation they need to start moving on with their lives. We make ourselves available to answer your questions and address your concerns as they come up.
To learn more about the services we provide and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Mississippi workers’ comp lawyers, give us a call today. You can also reach us through our online form.