What Is Covered Following a Work Injury
Workers injured on the job are almost always (with a few key exceptions) entitled to receive benefits under the Mississippi workers’ compensation program. While the process for receiving these benefits may appear fairly straightforward, in reality many employers are reluctant to pay workers’ comp benefits, and may try to sabotage the process whenever possible. In other cases, the worker does not fully understand the process, and may make mistakes which can prevent him or her being awarded these benefits.
There are specific requirements which must be met when applying for workers’ compensation benefits in the state of Mississippi. Your goal, after being injured on the job, or being diagnosed with a work-related illness—will be to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits to the extent possible. The goal of your employer and his or her insurance company may be to limit the amount of compensation you receive. Having an experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney by your side can help you create a comprehensive, detailed claim, which can both maximize your recovery and ensure you receive the full value of your claim.
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must be classified as an employee within your company, and your company must have at least five full-time employees. Companies with fewer than five employees may elect to participate in the workers’ compensation program, but are not required. Domestic laborers and farm laborers are not covered under workers’ compensation.
Clergy and members of religious orders, those who work for a non-profit organization, those who teach at a nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institution, railroad employees, federal government employees and those involved in maritime trades are not covered under workers’ comp laws.
Is Your Injury or Illness Covered?
Your injury or illness must be work-related, meaning you must have been injured on the job, while carrying out a task for the benefit of your employer, and must have been acting within the scope of your employment in order to qualify for workers’ compensation. Following your injury you must notify your employer within thirty days and you must immediately see a physician.
If approved, you will be entitled to have all your medical expenses relating to the accident with injury paid for by workers’ compensation. This included doctor, hospital, medications and rehabilitative therapies. Any injury or illness sustained on the job, which results in loss of time at work beyond the 5-day waiting period could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Any injury sustained on the job, which caused or is likely to cause permanent disability or serious facial or body disfigurement falls under workers’ compensation.
If your work-related injury or illness resulted in your being unable to return to work for a significant amount of time, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation wage benefits. The benefits will be determined based on whether your injury is a temporary total disability, a temporary partial disability, a permanent total disability or a permanent partial disability. Each category is eligible for a maximum 450 weeks of pay, although there is an overall indemnity maximum of 450 weeks. Benefits will be figured by taking your average weekly compensation rate, and paying approximately 2/3rds of this figure.
For the millions of Americans who exist from paycheck to paycheck, this level of pay cut can result in serious financial difficulties. It is very important that a knowledgeable Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney be on board with your claim from the very beginning. This will ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to, and that your future is adequately protected. In some cases a third-party lawsuit may be filed against another party responsible for your injuries; this can help make up the difference between your actual salary, and the amount workers’ compensation pays.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, it is important to understand your legal rights and how to collect all of your worker's compensation benefits. At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys fight aggressively for injured employees and their families – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at (601) 265-7766 or (601) 265-7766.
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