If you were injured while working in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, or you became ill due to a work-related condition, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides financial support to workers who are injured on the job or who become ill due to a work-related condition. With over 100 years of combined experience and tens of thousands of cases handled, our Hattiesburg workers’ compensation attorneys are equipped to help you get the benefits you need and deserve. We understand that a work injury can be devastating, both physically and financially. You may be worried about how you’ll pay your bills and support your family while you’re out of work.
It’s essential to act quickly and call our law firm for help. You only have a limited time to file a claim for benefits. Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyers, P.A. has handled all types of work-related injury claims, and our attorneys will fight to help you get the compensation you need.
Common workplace injuries include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other head injuries
- Hearing loss
- Severe burns
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Torn ligaments
- Shoulder injuries
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Cuts and laceration
- Muscle strains
Who Is Entitled to Workers’ Compensation?
In Mississippi, many workers are entitled to compensation from their employers when they’re hurt performing job-related duties or become sick due to a work-related cause. The state requires most employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to make sure their workers have access to the financial support they need. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you may still be able to file a claim with the state’s Uninsured Employers Fund.
Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, which means that it does not matter who was at fault for the accident. Therefore, as long as you were injured while performing your job duties, you should be eligible for benefits.
Exceptions to the “no-fault” rule include:
- Employers with fewer than five workers
- Independent contractors
- Volunteer positions
- Housekeeping and babysitting jobs
- Farming work
- Non-profit organizations
- Religious organizations
If an employer has workers’ compensation insurance, any on-the-job injury — whether minor or severe — is covered by the policy.
However, coverage may be denied if it is determined that the employee’s injuries:
- Were self-inflicted
- Occurred while the individual was not on the job or was in violation of company policy
- Resulted from intoxication or illegal drug use
You Could Be Entitled to These Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to help injured workers cover their medical expenses and replace a portion of their lost wages. The specific benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive will depend on the severity of their injuries.
Some of the most common benefits available through workers’ compensation include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages replacement
- Compensation for permanent injuries
- Costs for training for a new job
- Wrongful death benefits to a deceased worker’s surviving family members
Wage Loss Benefits
If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you may be eligible for wage loss benefits. These benefits can provide up to two-thirds of your pre-injury wages, up to a maximum amount.
You are entitled to have all reasonable and necessary medical expenses paid by workers’ compensation. This includes hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and other types of treatment.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If you suffer a permanent injury that prevents you from returning to your previous job, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits. These benefits are paid as a lump sum or in periodic payments, depending on the extent of your injuries.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If you suffer an injury that prevents you from working in any capacity, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits. These benefits are paid as a lump sum or in periodic payments.
If a worker dies as a result of a work-related injury, their surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits. These benefits can include up to $10,000 for funeral and burial expenses as well as weekly payments to the deceased worker’s spouse and minor children.
Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Laws Protect Injured Workers
Workers’ compensation laws are in place to protect employees who are injured on the job. These laws are designed to help ensure that you receive the medical treatment and income benefits you need to recover from your injuries. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and fight for the benefits you deserve.
In Mississippi, workers have two years from the date of their accident to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If you do not file your claim within this time frame, you will be barred from receiving any benefits.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury
If you have been injured on the job, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once a doctor has seen you, you should then notify your employer of your injury.
You must notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. You then have 30 days to file a written report with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your employer is required to provide you with the necessary forms.
Filing a Claim
You can file your claim online, by mail, or in person at a local Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission office. You will need to provide information about your accident, your injuries, and your employment.
Your Employer’s Response
Your employer has ten days to respond to your claim. If your employer denies your claim, you have the right to appeal.
The Appeals Process
If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. You must do so within 30 days of receiving notice of the denial.
You will then have a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony supporting your claim. The workers’ compensation judge will then issue a decision. If you are still not satisfied with the decision, you can appeal to the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
Burden of Proof in Workers’ Compensation Cases
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to prove that your injuries were caused by your job. In most cases, this will require providing medical documentation of your injuries and how they were caused.
For example, if you suffered a back injury at work, you will need to provide medical records that show the extent of your injuries and how your job duties caused them. These records can come from a variety of sources, including:
- Your treating physician
- Hospital records
- Medical testing results
- Imaging studies
- Previous treatment records
Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, and the evidence required to support them can be difficult to obtain. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you gather the evidence to support your claim and get the benefits you deserve.
Injured at Work? Let Us Help You File a Claim.
Richard Schwartz & Associates is available to help you file a workers’ compensation claim or appeal a denied claim. If you were injured at work, we believe that you deserve to be compensated for your losses, and we are willing to fight for you. Even if you are not eligible to file a claim, our Mississippi personal injury attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against all liable parties to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us for a FREE case evaluation today! Let our Hattiesburg workers’ compensation lawyers handle any legal issue while you focus on recovery.