What is Workers’ Compensation?

If you have been injured while at work, in the state of Mississippi, you may have many questions regarding your right to workers’ comp benefits. Workers’ compensation allows those employees injured at work to obtain payments for medical expenses, lost wages and occupational rehabilitation expenses regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In exchange for participating in this no-fault system, employees essentially give up their right to sue their employers directly for negligence or other damages—with some exceptions. While the federal government has its own workers’ comp program for all federal employees, each individual state manages its own workers’ compensation insurance program. Not every state requires businesses to carry workers’ comp, however the state of Mississippi does require any business with more than five employees to do so.

What Type of Injury Qualifies Under Workers’ Comp?

Under the Mississippi workers’ comp program, a work injury is classified as any injury which occurred while you were doing something on behalf of your employer. This means that, under certain circumstances, an injury which occurs when you are driving to or from work may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Even at company parties or other social events where employee attendance is considered at least somewhat mandatory, an accident with injury could qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

From the employee’s standpoint, however, workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning it makes no difference who caused the accident, even if the employee was being careless when the injury occurred. There is a caveat to no-fault, in that some claims made by employees who were injured while engaging in a fight or while intoxicated have been rejected. That being said, intoxication in and of itself may not be enough to bar a workers’ comp claim.

Are Any Type of Workers Excluded?

There are certain types of workers who do not fall under the workers’ comp laws of Mississippi. These include agricultural workers, housekeepers, babysitters, nannies, and employees of charitable organizations, religious organizations, cultural organizations and non-profit fraternal organizations.

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation System

The workers’ comp system can be complex, producing anxiety among injured employees who have been denied legitimate benefits, and some employees may need to seek legal assistance in order to get the workers’ comp benefits they are entitled to. Coverage for workers begins on the very day employment begins, with no waiting period or minimum earnings requirements.

If you are injured while in the course of your normal employment, it is essential you immediately notify your immediate supervisor or other person as designated by your employer. One of the primary reasons workers’ comp benefits are denied is when a worker is injured at work on a Friday, and, perhaps not thinking the injury is serious, waits until Monday to report it. The employee may have legitimately felt like the injury might get better over the weekend, but from the insurance company’s point of view, the injury could have occurred over the weekend, while the worker was away from work.

Once the proper person is notified, that person will make a report of your injury, notifying the insurance company and/or the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you might be entitled to payment for your medical expenses as well as wage loss benefits if you cannot work due to your injury. While the exact amount you will receive under wage loss benefits is not known, generally speaking you will be entitled to about 2/3rds of your normal salary. All reasonable and necessary medical services which are required to treat your injury, with a goal of a maximum cure, are available to the injured worker. This includes physician and hospital services, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and any medical devices necessary.

Contact Our Mississippi Worker's Compensation Lawyers

If you find your benefits have been denied, it can be extremely beneficial to speak to an experienced Mississippi workers’ comp attorney. 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 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.

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