Those who have been injured in an accident at work, may be eligible to recover compensation benefits. Calculating workers’ compensation claims in Pascagoula could be difficult without legal help. Those who have sustained long-term, serious injuries that might result in long-term or permanent impairment should retain the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. There are many pitfalls that we encounter constantly. It is important for employees to talk with experienced lawyers to determine whether they are covered under the workers’ compensation laws and what their rights are.
The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission and Department of Labor governs claims in Mississippi depending on the type and location of work performed.
Under state law, approvable workers’ compensation claims must include an injury that occurred on the job, in the course and scope of one’s employment, and causally related to their employment, meaning that the individual suffered an on-the-job injury that was directly related to their employment. There has been significant litigation and legislation on these seemingly simple issues.
Workers’ compensation benefits are calculated based on a worker’s average weekly wage. In the State of Mississippi, an employee’s average weekly wage is based on the worker’s “average” wages for the previous 52 weeks of work. For salary workers, this is easy to calculate, but for hourly workers with irregular hours, this can be difficult to calculate sometimes. The employer might not want to pay workers’ compensation for irregular overtime if that employee earned significant overtime pay. You will need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to argue for these overtime wages to be paid appropriately.
The compensation rate is based on a 40-hour workweek at the employee’s average rate. If that employee is salaried, it is just two-thirds of their average weekly wage, which would be their regular paycheck, no matter how many hours they work.
Taxes and other deductions are taken out of an individual’s regular check. Two-thirds or sixty-six and two-thirds (66 2/3 %) percentages is the compensation rate because of deductions from the regular paycheck. State and federal workers’ compensation payments are tax-free under workers’ compensation statutes.
If the injured worker receives supplemental security income on top of workers’ compensation, he or she may have to end up paying taxes. Payments coming from Social Security would be reduced and the difference created by the payment of workers’ compensation would be taxable. In most cases, however, this amount could be small enough to be negligible for taxation. It is best to speak to a seasoned attorney to determine what those ramifications might be.
Some employers in Pascagoula misclassify employees as independent contractors to reduce liability, including liability for any kind of on-the-job injuries. Many large companies, such as construction companies, package carriers, delivery drivers, classify employees as independent contractors even though the law has determined that they are still liable for those employees’ actions and injuries.
Individuals seeking workers’ compensation should work with an experienced lawyer. There are certain cases, most of which are broken bone cases or minor lacerations, that will likely put someone out of work for only a couple of days – workers usually don’t need an attorney in those cases. In other cases, employees are left disabled and permanently unable to return to work. Sometimes the employer will try to avoid liability and not pay for medical expenses.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer could help employees get the benefits they need. Call today to learn about the nuances of calculating workers’ compensation claims in Pascagoula.