When you go to work in the morning, you expect it to be another normal day. Until the day you get injured on-the-job.
You may be a very safe person, but a workplace has inherent dangers, especially if it is on a construction site, in a warehouse, in a manufacturing plant, or involves the transportation industry.
Workers in Mississippi suffered 90 fatal work injuries in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is an increase of 19% from the previous year and the highest number of fatalities and injuries over the last decade. Private industry accounted for the majority of the workplace fatalities.
After your workplace accident, you may be surprised. While workers’ compensation is supposed to provide you with medical benefits and lost wages while you heal, there may be problems with seeking that compensation.
Your boss may not believe you really are injured. There may be some fault laid on the job you did and whether you were negligent. All of a sudden, your injury is compounded by the stress of seeking compensation and the uncertainty of whether you will be able to.
We strongly suggest you seek the expertise of an experienced workers’ compensation law firm to help you through this difficult time to secure all of the compensation you are due to help pay the bills, receive the medical therapy you deserve, and if necessary, permanent disability payments.
Some injured workers may think they can tough it out and don’t want to bring attention to themselves in the workplace. However, that can mean you lose your right to a claim. Immediately notify your employer within 30 days of the incident.
In Mississippi, any employer with five or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ comp is not a lawsuit, it is an insurance claim designed to cover workers injured on-the-job to pay medical expenses and up to two-thirds of your lost income, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. It can also cover a permanent disability and death.
Fault is not an issue in a
typical on-the-job workers accident insurance claim. Fault does become an issue if there is a
negligent third party involved.
Is a Third Party Involved in Your Workers’ Comp Case?
Not all injuries are directly related to your employer or the workplace.
Product – If a component of a machine malfunctions, an experienced
workers’ compensation law firm will then investigate whether the machine was
defective in some way. Had there been a recall or is there a history of this
machine failing to the point of causing injury?
If we find that is the case, a third party defective product lawsuit may be filed against the machine manufacturer to seek compensation for your injuries and lost wages. This would be filed in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
- Drunk or
Distracted Driver – A drunk driver mayhit you when you are working on your delivery route. If you are
injured, you are entitled to collect not only workers’ compensation benefits
but also to file a personal injury claim against the insurance company for the
You, the injured party, may be able to collect all out-of-pocket expenses, all of your lost wages and bonuses, as well as medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering.
Property – If you are working for your employer but on a property that
is not owned by your employer, you may be able to file a third party lawsuit if
you are hurt because of the dangerous conditions on the property.
We may find a contractor or and sub-contractors is in violation of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health) rules. These are the individuals who are the at-fault party and we must prove their negligence.
Reeves and Mestayer works with investigators to determine the other responsible parties and how they contributed to your injury. This means we consult with safety experts, medical personnel, and eyewitnesses to determine just how you were injured.
Ultimately, we may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer and against the third party responsible for your injuries.
Please do not hesitate to call us for a complimentary consultation so that we can advise you on the steps you need to take immediately. Do not let too much time to lapse. Otherwise, you may lose your ability to seek compensation while you heal from your job-related injuries.