A Brief Overview of Workers' Compensation - Insights from a Greenville Attorney
Workers' compensation laws protect the financial interests of people who suffer injuries on the job. Without these benefits, thousands of workers would fall into insurmountable debt every year.
Work-related injuries are more common in Mississippi than most people assume. In fact, according to the United States Department of Labor, there have been close to 600 workers' comp cases in this state in 2015. These cases paid out more than $17 million.
Workers' compensation laws are complex, and recovering a fair payout is not always a straightforward process. A seemingly minor oversight could lead to a denial of your claim.
A Greenville workers' compensation attorney from Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A. can evaluate your case and help you file for benefits. If your claim was denied, then we can determine why and attempt to appeal the decision. Call us today at (601) 869-0696 to schedule a consultation.
Why Workers' Compensation Exists
Illnesses and injuries can happen in any profession. Although some industries are riskier than others - with construction being the most hazardous - an unexpected accident can leave workers and their families with steep medical bills. Some victims cannot return to work.
This is why workers' compensation exists: to protect the financial security of accident victims. In some situations, workers' compensation can be the difference between crippling debt and financial stability.
Who Can Receive Workers' Comp Benefits in Mississippi?
The Mississippi Workers' Compensation Law covers almost every employed individual in the state. However, there are certain exceptions.
If an employer has five or more regular employees, then he or she must have workers' comp insurance coverage. If the employer has fewer than five workers, then coverage is not required but the employer may provide it voluntarily.
Unless the employer has purchased coverage voluntarily, the following industries and organizations are not covered by Workers' Compensation Statutes:
- Farm labor;
- Non-profit fraternal organizations;
- Domestic labor;
- Religious organizations;
- And cultural organizations
Federal workers' compensation statutes cover certain transportation and maritime employees, as well as federal workers. As a result, they may not be covered by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law.
Also, the law typically does not cover independent contractors. However, subcontractor employees may have some protection.
Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
As an injured worker in Mississippi, you have the right to select your medical provider. However, after making this choice, all referrals have to come from that doctor. The law does not require that you visit a licensed medical doctor; for example, you can visit a chiropractor and still be covered by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law. As an injured employee, you do not have to pay a deductible for treatment.
If you have questions about workers' comp benefits, or if your claim was denied, then a Greenville workers' compensation lawyer may be able to help. At Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A., we will investigate your case and explain your options for recovering benefits. Call our office today at (601) 869-0696 to schedule a consultation.