Much like most states, Mississippi has a workers’ compensation system in place to ensure that workers have medical coverage and wage replacement when they are hurt on the job. With a few exceptions, almost every worker in Mississippi is covered by workers’ compensation. If you have been injured while on the job, you might be able to seek benefits with the assistance of a Jackson County workers’ compensation lawyer.
The workers’ compensation system can be confusing, and employers and insurance companies may be slow or unwilling to pay your claims in full or promptly. In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits may be your sole method of recourse for a job-related injury. As a result, you may need an experienced personal injury lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
Although workers technically have 30 days in which to report work-related injuries or illnesses to their employers, injured workers should report any harm to their supervisors as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the employer and the insurance company may deny claims on the basis that the injury did not occur at work or did not occur within the scope of employment. Reporting an injury right away makes it easier to prove that the injury was work-related.
Next, injured workers should receive medical treatment as quickly as possible following the injury. A precise diagnosis, assessment of the necessary treatment, and prognosis could help support a workers’ compensation claim. Medical records also are required to provide evidence of an inability to work, whether temporarily or permanently.
Injured workers also need to keep in mind that they have the right to choose their primary doctor or medical provider. That provider can make any necessary referrals to specialists as required, without the permission of the insurance company. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Jackson County could properly advise workers about all their rights and responsibilities relating to their claim.
When individuals receive medical care under the workers’ compensation system, they are not responsible for making any payments for services and treatment related to their on-the-job injury. Typically, the insurance company will make payments directly to medical providers during a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers also may be entitled to compensation for wage loss. They should receive these payments directly from the insurance company. These payments typically are equivalent to 66-2/3 of the average weekly wage earned by the injured worker, subject to a maximum weekly amount set by the state legislature and an overall cap of 450 times the maximum weekly amount.
However, Mississippi law does provide for a five-day waiting period, which begins to run as soon as the injury occurs, during which injured workers are ineligible for benefits. If workers are off work due to their injuries for more than 14 days, they will receive wage replacement for that entire time, including the first five days following their injuries. A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney in Jackson County could help explain the benefits that injured workers may be entitled to receive, as well as the timing of those payments. A dedicated lawyer could also help file and claim for benefits.
The workers’ compensation system can be complicated, especially if the insurance company is denying benefits or your employer believes that your injury was not work-related. To avoid these problems and protect your rights, you may wish to talk to a Jackson County workers’ compensation lawyer for legal advice and representation in your workers’ compensation case.
All too often, insurance companies wrongfully deny or attempt to limit workers’ compensation claims because it costs them and the employer more money. Insurance adjusters are likely to use whatever tactics necessary to ensure that you do not receive the payments and medical treatment that you need and deserve. As a result, seeking legal counsel may be the most successful way to fight back against the denials of your workers’ compensation claim. Call today to learn about your legal options.