While your workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to help you recover your losses after an accident, the reality is that many times, the money you receive is not enough. In some cases, your employer may try to deny your claim altogether.
The Gulfport workers’ compensation lawyers at the Morris Bart law firm want you to know that you are not alone. We can help you through the claims process, negotiate with the insurance company, and stand by your side in court if the insurers won’t agree on a fair settlement.
Common Causes of Liability in Workplace Accidents
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 4.6 million injuries occur at work every year, or one every seven seconds. The causes of injuries our Gulfport workers’ compensation attorneys see most often include:
- Contact with equipment or objects
- Slips and falls
- Malfunctioning tools, machinery, and equipment
- Chemical, thermal, and electrical burns
- Poisonous fumes
- Defective products
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), transportation accidents are the most frequent type of fatal event, causing 40% of work-related fatalities.
For a free legal consultation with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer serving Gulfport, call 800-537-8185
Occupations With the Highest Number of Workplace Injuries
When it comes to workplace accidents, all industries are not created equally. The five occupations that our workers’ compensation lawyers in Gulfport see are:
- Service workers, including firefighters and police officers
- Shipping and transportation workers
- Manufacturing and production employees
- Installation, maintenance, and repair employees
- Construction workers
If you work in one of these industries—or another that is not listed—and you experienced an injury at work, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Mississippi’s Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers’ compensation is an insurance plan paid entirely by employers to provide employees with medical and wage loss benefits if they are in a workplace accident. Mississippi Code § 71-3-5 requires all employers with five or more employees to provide workers’ compensation.
There are a few exceptions, such as domestic and farm labor or employees of religious, charitable, and cultural nonprofit organizations. Federal employees and maritime and transportation employees are also not covered, as they are covered by federal workers’ compensation laws.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In the state of Mississippi, workers’ compensation provides two basic benefits for employees: medical and wrongful death.
An employee is entitled to whatever medical services are “reasonable and necessary” in order to treat their injuries and achieve the greatest possible outcome for their recovery. Workers’ compensation covers things like:
- Hospital stays
- Doctor’s examinations
- Nursing services
- Physical therapy
- Assistive devices like crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs
- Mileage reimbursement for doctor’s visits
- Lost wages
If an employee has to miss work because of the extent of their injuries, they are entitled to a wage loss benefit that equals two-thirds of their average weekly wage, up to a certain limit and for a limited period of time, both of which are set by the Legislature in Mississippi Code § 71-3-17.
These benefits are known as “temporary disability” and “permanent disability,” which may become due if a doctor determines that the employee has a permanent handicap after achieving maximum medical improvement.
If there is any dispute regarding whether you remain disabled after reaching maximum medical improvement, you might benefit from discussing your case with a Gulfport workers’ compensation lawyer.
Benefits After Death
If the employee did not survive because of the seriousness of their injuries, the workers’ compensation law guarantees benefits to the employee’s surviving spouse and/or surviving dependents. These payments can continue up to 450 weeks after the employee’s death.
The benefits are equal to a percentage of the deceased employee’s wages, up to a certain limit. The insurance company is also required to pay for funeral and burial costs up to $5,000, as well as a lump sum payment of $1,000 to the surviving spouse.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured on the Job
If you are injured on the job, our Gulfport workers’ compensation lawyers recommend that you immediately notify your supervisor and call us. You will have up to 30 days after the accident occurs to provide notice. Your employer will need to contact the insurance company right away to help you recover your benefits.
If you do not notify your employer within 30 days and your employer does not know about the injuries or illness, the insurance company could choose to deny your claim.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Claim in Mississippi
A statute of limitations does apply to worker’s compensation claims. If you have not started receiving benefits within two years of the date of your accident or the onset of your illness, then any right you have to benefits will be barred unless you file a claim with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission during the two-year window.
How Much a Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Worth
One of the first things that will happen when you contact our law firm is a Gulfport workers’ compensation attorney will examine your evidence and estimate your claim’s value. Each case and settlement is unique, but here are some results we’ve achieved in the past:
- $640,000 for an accident that resulted in cervical and lumbar injury, hip tendinosis, and headaches
- $300,000 for an accident that resulted in aggravated degenerative disc disease in lower back, lost wages
We have more than 40 years of experience, and we won more than 6.500 cases in 2019 alone. Want to know what we can do for you? Reach out to us anytime, day or night.
The Cost of a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Gulfport
At Morris Bart we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we don’t get paid, unless you do. We also provide a no-fee and no-obligation case evaluation. This way you can see if we are the right fit for you without any risk.
If we agree to take your case, we will receive the fees for our time out of your settlement, along with any legal expenses, such as the cost of expert witnesses. We will explain these fees during our first meeting.
How a Gulfport Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help
While many claims can be handled without dispute, some are more complex. Our Gulfport workers’ compensation attorneys can help you negotiate with the insurance company and file a petition with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission if your claim is denied.
Contact the Morris Bart law firm today to speak with a member of our team and receive a free, no-risk review of your workers’ compensation claim. We are here to help you move forward from your accident.
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