Unique Aspects of Pascagoula Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation was developed as a way to reduce costs and reduce litigation with regard to workplace injuries. All workplace injuries between employers and employees are governed by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission located in Jackson. The injured employee is given two-thirds of their average weekly wage if they cannot work or if they have a reduced capacity but are able to work as well as full medical benefits.

Simple injuries like cuts and scrapes or broken bones with no permanent injury or permanent loss will be resolved without issue. The company or insurance company will pay for the injury and the medical benefits, and the injured worker can go back to work if all injuries heal up. However, long term or chronic injuries such as back, neck, chronic shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and head trauma cases will require an attorney to protect the injured workers’ rights. It is common for an injured employee to have recurring injuries due to an accident and these are specific reasons why they should contact a lawyer.

There are many unique aspects of Pascagoula workers’ compensation claims. The workers’ compensation claims process itself is simple. However, the law can be very complicated, and individuals often take a low dollar settlement or fail to file the appropriate paperwork to preserve their claim. A skilled workers’ comp attorney could help protect an injured employees’ rights and help them recover the compensation benefits they need.

Requirements for a Claim

A unique aspect of Pascagoula workers’ compensation claims is that the injured individual has to be within the scope and course of their employment at the time of the injury. For a large industry, that means that the injury happened within the gates or within the walls of the employer’s operations. For jobs that require individuals to travel, as long as that individual is performing work for the employer, an injury is a compensable workers’ compensation injury. The individual has to be injured as a result of their work.

An example of a non-compensable injury would be if an individual had an injury at home and came to work and sustained the same injury but no change in the functionality of the body part, then that would not be a compensable injury.  Commuting on the way to work is not compensable, for the most part.  This is where an experienced lawyer can distinguish between what is an on-the-job injury versus an off-the-job injury.

The most common cause for a workers’ compensation claim in Mississippi is manual labor. Manual labor could cause repetitive-type injuries to the back, neck, shoulder, joints, and knees. In other industries such as food service, there can be burns, scrapes, and other similar injuries. The most common injury for all industries is the lower back.

Qualifying for Workers’ Comp Benefits

Any injury, minor or severe, that causes somebody to lose work time can be compensable under workers’ compensation. Any lost time that is compensable on the workers’ compensation statute is a workers’ compensation injury. The employer has a duty to file the First Report of Injury with the Workers’ Compensation Commission for any compensable injury. The injured employee has a responsibility to file certain pleadings later on if necessary.

Workers’ compensation is regulated publicly in Pascagoula. All the workplace injuries are governed by the state Workers’ Compensation Act and the relevant statutes, but there have been amendments which go back decades. There are always interpretation issues with regards to the Act. The Act, in and of itself, is only part of the governing statutes for workers’ compensation.

Difference Between Compensation Benefits for Federal and Private-Sector Employees

Individuals that work for private employers are governed by private insurance policies and may be compensated by private insurance policies, but they may be governed by federal workers’ compensation statutes. Almost all private employers are going to be governed by the private policy that the employer is mandated to have in place. Any government worker will be governed by a government-paid policy or self-funded by the government themselves.

Federal employees are governed by the Federal Workers’ Compensation Act, and private employees are governed by the state in which they are working. There are several compensation schemes that govern private workers, working on government sites. Individuals that work in coal mines, on docks, overseas military installations, harbors, or the open ocean may be governed by different statutes that are federal in nature.

Sources of Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits, whether federal or state, will be two-thirds of their average weekly wage. The rate that someone is paid is straightforward, but it can be a source of contention depending on how benefits are calculated and how individuals are paid by their employer. Medical benefits are paid at a set federal and state workers’ compensation rate, and the physician that administers those benefits will have to be compensated by the insurance company at that rate. The biggest source of contention between employers and employees are the medical benefits, whether something is related to work, it is necessary and reasonable treatment.

How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Could Help

Those who have been injured on the job should reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The lawyer could help ensure that the claim and necessary paperwork is filed on time. They could help you seek compensation benefits that cover the full value of your injuries.

Call today to learn about the unique aspects of Pascagoula workers’ compensation claims and how an attorney could help.