Experiencing an injury at work can be devastating. It could mean suffering a serious injury and not being able to work in the future, temporarily or permanently. Fortunately, there are workers’ compensation laws that can help you recover the compensation you need if the employer is responsible for the injury. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (228) 447-4684.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance policy that allows employees to collect compensation when they are injured at work. The employer is responsible for paying for this policy. If your employer is required to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, you should be compensated even if the injury was your fault, though certain exceptions do apply.
Who is Covered?
In Mississippi, all employers who employ 5 or more workers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. If there are less than 5 employees, the coverage is not mandatory, but the employer can still opt to offer this type of insurance to their workers. Unless purchased voluntarily, individuals employed in certain fields are not entitled to insurance. Examples include domestic labor, farm labor, and those employed by non-profit fraternal, religious, charitable, or cultural organizations.
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your injury must have occurred in the course and scope of employment. Essentially, you must be at work performing your duties in order to be covered. If the injury happened while you were off the clock, you’re likely not covered.
What to Do After an Injury
If you’re injured at work, it’s important to know what steps to take to ensure that you receive the benefits you’re entitled to.
One of the most important steps you can take is to inform your employer of your injury and how it occurred. If you don’t tell them in an appropriate timeframe, the insurance company may try to argue that you weren’t actually injured at work. You want to make sure you document everything, so informing your employer in writing is important. You must report the injury within 30 days, but the sooner you report it, the better.
After you report your injury to the employer, they are required to inform the workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurance company will then review the claim and make a determination.
It’s also important to seek medical treatment after you sustain your injury. Keep track of all medical bills, documents, and treatment you received. The more information you can provide to your employer and the insurance company, the better. In Mississippi, you can receive medical treatment from any doctor you wish following an injury at work. If they believe you need to seek further treatment, they are permitted to refer you to one specialist without seeking approval from the employer’s insurance company. After this one referral, you must get approval from the employer’s insurance company.
If Your Claim is Denied
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you can file a petition to try to have the decision changed. Once you do this, a hearing will be held before a workers’ compensation judge. That judge will issue a written decision. If you aren’t satisfied at this point, you can then file an appeal.
Hire an Experienced Pascagoula Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you were injured at work and are having difficulty recovering the benefits you’re entitled to, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you. At Haug, Harrar & Franco, PLLC we do everything we can to help you get what you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.