Most people have faith that their employers have taken all necessary precautions to ensure a safe working environment. Unfortunately, workplace accidents occur all too frequently. These injuries might be quite severe and could result in death. Find out if you have a claim by scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Tupelo, Mississippi, workers’ compensation attorneys. There is no danger in meeting with us, and there is no obligation to hire us. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.
Trust the Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Richard Schwartz
Workers’ compensation may help you financially if you have been injured at work or lost a loved one in a work-related accident. An experienced lawyer by your side could assist you in obtaining the financial assistance you require. Our Tupelo, Mississippi, workers’ compensation lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured people and a track record of recovering compensation for those who have been hurt.
What is an Occupational Disease?
When you develop a job-related illness, and your employer plays a significant role, that illness is called an occupational disease. Your attorney must produce medical evidence such as findings from a physical exam and diagnostic testing to support your claim. Your lawyer must also show that you had an increased chance of getting this illness because of your employment.
Are Pre-existing Injuries Covered?
If you can show that your work caused or exacerbated a pre-existing condition, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. You must prove that your injury was not made any worse by anything outside of work. It may be necessary to present proof of new symptoms or how the pain has worsened.
Because these accusations may be complicated, you should seek the assistance of a competent attorney. Richard Schwartz & Associates’ Tupelo workers’ compensation lawyers have had a lot of experience with Mississippi’s workers’ compensation laws and what it takes to build a strong case.
What About Independent Contractors?
Workers’ compensation is only for those who are considered to be employees. That means an independent contractor would not qualify for compensation.
However, many employers make the mistake of misclassifying workers as contractors. Businesses use this method to avoid providing the same benefits and perks to these individuals. If you have concerns about whether or not you are an employee under the law, contact Richard Schwartz & Associates right away for a FREE consultation.
If any of these sentiments is accurate, you may have been misclassified by your employer:
- Your employer sets hours
- Your employer directs you as to how to complete your work
- Your employer supplies tools and equipment
- The work you do is a key aspect of the business
Can I File a Claim if I Was Injured Offsite?
This is a difficult issue that needs to be discussed with a professional, but you may be entitled to compensation if you were working while offsite as part of your job. If you were injured on business travel or during offsite training, for example, you might be entitled to compensation. Commuting in and out of work is not generally considered a job-related activity.
What Are the Different Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
For over 40 years, our legal team has helped numerous injured workers receive the compensation they deserve. The reasons for payment might include anything listed in Mississippi’s Workers’ Compensation Act, which was passed in 1948:
Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses incurred due to a work-related accident or illness. Medical bills must be provided by an authorized doctor covered by your employer’s insurance company to qualify for payment. Workers’ compensation usually covers:
- Hospital stays
- Doctor appointments
- Prescription medications
- Medical testing
- Physical therapy
- Adaptive devices (wheelchairs, prostheses, etc.)
- Travel costs for medical reasons
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
You may be able to claim these advantages if you can return to work with certain limitations. For example, if you can’t earn 80% of your pre-injury income, you might be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits for 104 weeks.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If you cannot work due to a workplace accident or illness, you may be eligible for these perks. You would receive 66.67% of your average weekly pay up to a maximum that is adjusted on an annual basis.
However, for more severe injuries such as paralysis or blindness, your temporary total disability (TTD) payments will increase to 80% of your usual earnings for up to six months. These benefits are not payable for the first seven days you miss work. This is untrue only if your injury prevents you from working for more than 21 days.
Impairment Income Benefits
If you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), which implies that your condition or injury is not anticipated to improve, you may be evaluated for work limitations and an impairment rating. If your permanent impairment is rated above 0%, benefits will be provided.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If you have a debilitating condition that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to receive TTD benefits at the same rate as permanent total disability (PTD) payments. These benefits are paid for 450 weeks following the day of your accident.
Permanent total disabilities are assigned to many injuries, such as amputations, severe brain or closed-head injuries, second- or third-degree burns, and spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis.
Certain surviving family members might be compensated for the loss of a loved one who dies as a result of an accident or sickness at work. The compensation amount will be determined by the number of dependents and cannot exceed two-thirds of the employee’s usual weekly income for 450 weeks. Funeral expenses would also be covered.
What Happens if My Employer Disputes My Injury?
Workers’ compensation claims are frequently disputed, and some injured employees are refused the money they require to support themselves and their families.
If your employer disputes your injury or fails to notify the workers’ compensation insurance provider, you have the option of filing a claim with the insurance provider directly or hiring an attorney to do that for you. In Mississippi, workers’ compensation claims must generally be filed within two years after your accident occurred.
My Claim Was Denied – What Should I Do Now?
It may appear straightforward, but that isn’t always the case. Insurance companies and employers may try to downplay the significance of your injuries or argue that they happened outside of work. An individual medical examiner will frequently take the insurance company’s side and tell you to return to work too soon or deny that you have an injury.
If your workers’ compensation insurance claim is denied, you can appeal. You must submit a Petition for Benefits to the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) within two years after your accident. The appeals board at the OJCC will examine your application and notify your employer and workers’ compensation insurance provider. The insurer has fourteen days to respond to the appeal.
The next step is mediation, which will be held if the conflict cannot be resolved in mediation. Finally, a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge will happen if the dispute can’t be settled via mediation. Ninety days after the pretrial hearing, a final hearing will take place.
Having a lawyer with prior experience representing your case at the appellate level may be beneficial. They might help you fulfill filing deadlines, gather evidence, and defend your legal rights by obtaining information for you.
We are well-versed in the strategies and methods that businesses and insurance carriers employ to defraud their employees out of compensation. We’re devoted to protecting hurt workers and are prepared to fight for the compensation they need to get back on their feet.
Common Workplace Injuries
Although a workplace accident can occur at any job, certain vocations appear more dangerous than others.
Many companies demand that their employees be in good physical condition to operate heavy equipment and machinery. These job elements are frequently linked to debilitating workplace injuries, resulting in a workers’ compensation claim.
Some of the industries that are considered the most dangerous are:
- Commercial Fishing
- Steelworkers and ironworkers
Construction, manufacturing, and transportation are just a few of the many industries in which workplace injuries may occur. The following are some of the most prevalent types of on-the-job accidents that our workers’ compensation attorneys have seen:
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Head injuries
- Hearing loss
- Burn Injuries
- Back injuries
Contact a Tupelo, Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you’ve been refused workers’ compensation coverage or are getting insufficient benefits, you’ll want the assistance of a worker’s compensation lawyer who is dedicated to righting those wrongs. Our Tupelo Mississippi worker’s compensation attorneys have years of combined expertise in recovering favorable judgments and settlements for individuals who have been injured or lost a loved one in a workplace accident.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll take the time to go over everything with you and see whether you have a case. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that we put your interests first and do not get paid unless you receive monetary compensation.