Getting injured while on the job is the worst. On top of the pain and suffering from the injury, you have to miss your working days and pay huge medical bills.
In such a context, worker’s compensation comes as a big relief. However, there are related laws, and as an employee, you should know about the worker’s compensation laws in Jackson, MS. This is why hiring a Jackson work injury lawyer becomes paramount.
Here is how workers’ compensation work in Jackson, Mississippi.
What Is Worker’s Compensation in Jackson?
The worker’s compensation in Jackson, MS, is supervised by the Worker’s Compensation Commission. It is a no-fault insurance plan under the State laws to be paid by the employer.
Under the worker’s compensation Law in Jackson, MS, the employer has to provide compensation benefits to its injured employees by purchasing insurance from a recognized insurance company. Those businesses that are not under the mandate to have insurance for worker’s compensation can seek approval from the Commission to buy self-insurance.
What Businesses in Jackson, MS Need Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
The majority of the Mississippi employees are protected by the worker’s compensation laws, with few exceptions. The employees exempted from such laws include:
- Employers with less than five employees
- Employees of NGOs, charitable organizations, cultural and religious organizations
- Domestic and farm labor employees
- Federal employees
- Transportation and maritime employments
- Independent contractors
However, the employer of all such organizations can voluntarily provide worker’s compensation to their employees.
What Injuries Are Covered Under the Worker’s Compensation Law in Jackson?
Whether severe or minor, any injury is covered under the worker’s compensation law if it arises within the scope of employment terms. Work-related deaths, occupational illnesses, and diseases, if job-related, are also covered.
What Should an Injured Worker Do After Being Injured in Jackson, MS?
When injured at a workplace in Jackson, MS, here are the steps you should take to get the benefits right:
1. Notify Your Supervisor
You should notify your immediate supervisor about the injury or ask someone else to do it for you. They should also know about the incident and injury for varied reasons. Accurate reporting is essential for the employer to create a report. Such a report is sent to the worker’s compensation insurance company or/and to the worker’s compensation commission for approval.
2. Give The Employer Notice
The injury report should be given to the employer within 30 days of injury. The sooner it is, the better.
3. File A Claim
The employee can also file a claim if the employer or worker’s compensation insurance company denies the right to claim within two years of the injury. In such a case, the employee can file the claim within two years with the worker’s compensation committee of the Mississippi.
3. Know The Repercussions
Also, any misrepresentations, false statements in the report, or wrongfully withholding the benefit for both the employee and employer would be treated as a felony under Worker’s Compensation laws in Mississippi.
Under this, the convict will be charged with a penalty of up to $5,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater. It may also result in imprisonment of up to 3 years or both.
Are Benefits Available Under WC In Jackson, Mississippi?
In Jackson, Mississippi, if you are injured at the workplace, the employee is entitled to claim two types of benefits:
1. Medical Benefits
An injured worker is entitled to reimburse the amount of their medical bills. This amount is not limited to doctor fees and hospital services but also the medications, nursing services, physiotherapy, crutches, etc.
It also includes the mileage expense reimbursement for trips to doctors. However, there is an upper cap to the maximum benefit.
2. Wage Loss Benefits
Wage loss benefits are divided into two types, i.e., temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits.
If the employee is seriously injured and unable to get back to work, such an employee is entitled to still receive wages equal to 2/3rd of the worker’s weekly average wage. There is a maximum and minimum limit to such amount as set by the law. This is a temporary disability payment applied when the worker is still under medical care and the doctor’s supervision.
When a worker has received maximum care and is still unable to get to work, the benefit provided is termed as permanent disability benefit (like in case of fracture or handicap).
These wage loss benefits must be paid at least every 14 days as long as the disability exists, subject to limits.
If the worker’s disability does not last for 14 days, the payment is made for the rest of the days, excluding the first five days. The first five days are termed as the waiting period.
3. Death Benefits
If the workplace injury causes the employee’s death, as per the Worker’s Compensation Law, the surviving spouse or other surviving dependents are entitled to the benefits.
These benefits are paid every 14 days and continue up to 450 weeks from the employee’s death. The amount is calculated based on the average weekly wage of the deceased worker, subject to the maximum limit.
Also, the worker’s compensation insurance company or the employer is entitled to provide the funeral expenses of $5,000 and a lump sum amount of $1,000 to the surviving spouse.
In a case where the employer denies paying such a benefit, a worker’s compensation lawyer in Jackson, MS, can help you fight for your right. Consulting such an attorney will help recover the benefit and may also suggest any other rightful payments the worker is obliged to receive.
Why Hire A Worker’s Compensation Lawyer In Jackson, MS?
A worker’s compensation lawyer is well aware of the benefits an injured employee is entitled to per the worker’s compensation law. Consulting a lawyer directly allows you to stay fully aware of your rights. They also help fulfill other requirements like writing the first report of injury, lump-sum calculations, or when the employer denies the benefit.
A lawyer also helps file the claim before the court of law in a case where the employer doesn’t have worker’s compensation insurance. Consulting a worker’s compensation lawyer is free.
The fee of the worker’s compensation lawyer cannot exceed 25% of the total benefit received if appealed before the Commission. If appealed before the court of law, they receive a maximum of 33 1/3% total compensation.
They receive a certain percentage of the benefit received to the employee. Ask your lawyer the maximum amount of benefit they can claim in Jackson, MS, under worker’s compensation. This amount changes every year.
For any assistance on worker’s compensation and legal support, contact a Jackson personal injury lawyer today.