Every job carries some level of risk. Construction workers are susceptible to falls and being hit by flying objects, roadside workers are often involved in auto accidents caused by inattentive drivers, and those working around harsh and hazardous chemicals are at risk of inhaling certain levels of harmful gases that lead to illness and death. Unfortunately, because there is a risk associated with working in nearly every industry, workers often find themselves struggling with the aftermath of an accident they didn’t seem coming. But that is where worker’s compensation insurance comes in and why most employers in the state of MS are required to carry it.
When is an employer required to carry worker’s compensation insurance?
According to Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Commission, employers who have at least five workers who are regularly employed are required to provide this insurance coverage for their employees. In the event the employer has less than five workers, then it is at their discretion whether they purchase worker’s compensation insurance or not.
Who is eligible to receive worker’s compensation benefits in the state of MS?
When a worker engages in an accident and suffers an injury or illness that “arises out of the course and scope of employment,” their employer’s insurer should provide them with the benefits they are entitled to. Although most workers in the state of MS are eligible to receive workers comp benefits, there are some who aren’t. An employee who would not be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Law include:
- Individuals who are employed in the domestic and farm labor field.
- Employees of non-profit fraternal, charitable, religious or cultural organizations.
- Federal employees or certain transportation and maritime employees who are covered by federal compensation laws.
- Independent contractors, “although special protection is given to employees of subcontractors.”
Now, although individuals working in these fields may not be eligible for worker’s compensation coverage, if their employer voluntarily offers is, then it is there for them to take advantage of.
What worker’s compensation benefits are offered to victims of a workplace accident?
The two benefits employees should receive under their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance policy include:
- Medical Benefits.
A worker who suffers an injury or illness while on the job is eligible to receive coverage for the medical services they are required to have rendered that are considered to be “reasonable” and necessary “to treat the injury and achieve maximum cure.” These fees that are generally covered include:
- Doctor and hospital visits
- Nursing services
- Physical therapy
- Any other medical services that are deemed necessary.
Workplace accident victims are also entitled to be reimbursed for mileage expenses they incur for the trips they must make to the doctor.
- Wage Loss Benefits.
If a worker’s injury has resulted in them being unable to resume their position with their employer, they are “entitled to a wage loss benefit equal to as much as two-thirds of the workers’ average weekly wage, [which is] subjected to a maximum weekly amount and to certain time limits which are set by the Legislature.” During the time that the injured employee is out of work and being treated regularly by a physician, the payments they receive are referred to as a “temporary disability payments.” Once their physician believes they have “achieved maximum cure or improvement,” the insurer may provide them with additional benefits known as “permanent disability payments if the worker has a permanent disability or [has become] handicapped.”
Why should I consider hiring a Madison, MS personal injury attorney after engaging in a workplace accident?
If you suffered an injury in any type of work accident in Madison, MS or a neighboring city that has left you temporarily or permanently injured, you should consider contacting Ballard Law, PLLC to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can explain your rights and ensure your employer is handling your claim fairly. Oftentimes, workers find themselves struggling to receive the compensation they are due for the time they must spend out of work which only makes the recovery process that much more difficult for them to get through.
Aside from that, our firm can determine if there are entitled to more than what your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance is paying you. The truth is, there are many benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer after engaging in an accident at work and to learn what these are, we invite you to contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Ballard Law, PLLC can be reached at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201