Tupelo Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Workers’ compensation is a national benefit providing medical and wage compensation after an individual sustains on-the-job injuries. Each state determines its own workers’ compensation benefits, and therefore, each state’s laws may vary, affecting the amount of money you may be eligible to receive.
In Tupelo, MS, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help guide individuals through the sometimes complicated claims process and appeal unjust denials. If you’ve sustained on-the-job injuries and believe you’re entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits, don’t hesitate to reach out to the legal team at NST Law.
Tupelo Workers' Compensation Accidents
Near Tupelo, Mississippi, a significant worker’s compensation case involved a man serving a 12-year prison sentence for manslaughter. In 2010, just 45 minutes outside of Tupelo, Lonnie Smith of Ripley, Mississippi, suffered injuries on the job after accidentally shocking himself on power lines while working for Tippah Electric Power Association.
Gulf Live reported that “A safety expert for Tippah testified the lines Smith allegedly grabbed were three feet, seven inches apart. The distance, the expert testified, would have made it difficult for Smith to accidentally touch both lines at the same time.” However, the Supreme Court ruled that Smith deserved worker’s compensation—despite his capital murder charges in a separate case later the same year.
Although coworkers attested to Smith’s odd behavior on the day of the incident, potentially because he was aware of imminent capture for his crimes, there was insufficient evidence to prove he grabbed the power lines on purpose in an attempt to commit suicide.
More recently, and closer to Tupelo, a former Verona police officer is waiting on a resolution to her worker’s compensation claim that has been going on for four years. After fighting a man for over ten minutes on a house call in 2017, Stephanie Moffett suffered from contusions, a concussion, cracked teeth, fibromyalgia, and depression. She accrued over $200,000 in medical bills, and the city has paid her only $13,881.41 in worker’s compensation to date.
Daily Journal reported, “‘They stopped paying in 2018,’ Moffett said. ‘There was no justified explanation with the final notice of payment.’ When she returned to work, she was on light duty as a School Resource Officer at Verona Elementary School. She proposed a settlement in the workers’ compensation case in early May and is waiting for a response.”
A similar case was upturned recently when a Texas appeals court found that a former Dallas Cowboys lineman, who received worker’s compensation benefits after sustaining a knee injury, was not a Texas resident at all—but a Mississippian. Alcus Fortenberry was staying in a hotel in Dallas at the time of the injury.
Law 360 reports, “the appellate panel was also unconvinced by arguments from Great Divide Insurance Co., which carries workers’ compensation benefits for the Texas Department of Insurance, that the claims should be tried in Austin because it works with a law firm in the city. ‘Because Fortenberry offered no prima facie proof that he resided in Dallas County for venue purposes on the date of his injury and because Great Divide failed to present prima facie proof it maintains a principal office in Travis County, neither party made the necessary venue showing,’ the panel wrote. ‘Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s judgment and remand to the trial court to conduct further proceedings on the issue of venue.'”
Fortenberry also didn’t have a compensable disability because of the injury, the court determined.
Tupelo Workers' Compensation Settlements
In 2009, Susan Stevenson of Mississippi moved to reopen a denied worker’s compensation claim because circumstances changed. In 2004, Stevenson suffered a lower back injury while at work. After treatment, her doctors concluded that the surgery she required and subsequent medical expenses were not directly related to her on-the-job injury—she underwent back surgery twice before her claim.
Stevenson moved to reopen the case, but the courts denied it. Case documents read, “The ALJ denied Stevenson’s motion because: (1) Dr. Bobo [her doctor’s] notes did not indicate a causal connection between her work-related injury and her surgery, and (2) she failed to prove that her condition in 2006 had changed from that at the time she settled her work-related condition in 2005.”
Her doctors found no change in circumstance and no relation to the work injury, and the courts reversed the Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Commission’s decision to settle.
This case is an excellent example of why causation is so important. A Tupelo workers’ compensation attorney can evaluate your claim, help determine its validity, and assess available evidence to prove a causal connection between your work-related incident and injury and subsequent medical treatment so that your expenses and lost wages for time off work are covered.
Tupelo Companies Involved in Workers' Compensation Claims
You can find local companies currently or recently involved in worker’s compensation claims here:
You can find local insurance companies that assist in worker’s compensation here:
- Lawhon Insurance Agency, LLC
- The Nowell Agency, Inc.
- Safeway Insurance
- Mississippi Insurance Brokers, Inc.
For more information, please visit the Workers’ Compensation Commission website.
NST Law Workers' Compensation Settlements and Verdicts
We’ve helped many of our clients receive the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. For example, we represented an individual who suffered injuries while working as a billboard poster. We investigated his claim, hiring an expert engineer who helped determine that the employer failed to weld the catwalk properly. We litigated the case, eventually mediating the third-party claim to help our client receive a $950,000 offer to aid in his injury-related financial burdens.
We also represented a 49-year-old man who suffered a traumatic brain injury while on the job. The workers’ compensation insurance company denied his claim, and the employer rejected the employee’s assertions that his psychological injuries were work-related. We represented the injured man in court and received a $561,916.90 judgment against the workers’ compensation insurance company.
What is workers' compensation in Tupelo?
In Mississippi, the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission oversees workers’ compensation in two primary forms: medical and wage benefits. Individuals can file a claim for potential medical benefits, including coverage for prescriptions, medical devices, necessary services, and any other medical expenses required to make a full recovery from an on-the-job injury.
The MWCC categorizes wage benefits as coverage for either temporary or permanent disabilities. A temporary disability is an injury from which you can make a full recovery. In contrast, a permanent disability refers to an injury that, even when fully recovered, leaves the injured person with a permanent handicap.
If you’re injured on the job, you have two years until your claim expires if you haven’t received disability benefits by then. If you begin to receive workers’ compensation benefits, they’re limited to 450 weeks in Mississippi.
What does workers' compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation can cover medical and wage benefits, including:
- Hospital bills
- Missed wages
- Personal items if damaged during the incident
- Funeral costs (if applicable)
- Lawsuit costs (if applicable)
Who can receive workers' compensation benefits?
Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law covers most employees injured on the job in Mississippi. Unless your employer voluntarily provides coverage, the law doesn’t protect employees who work for any of the following:
- An employer with less than five employees
- Domestic and farm labor
- Non-profit fraternal, charitable, religious, or cultural organizations
- The federal government (which follows its own federal compensation laws)
Independent contractors are also exempt.
How long can you stay on workers' comp?
A workers’ compensation claim is limited to 450 weeks in Mississippi. If an individual misses less than 14 days of work due to a job-related injury, workers’ compensation will pay for missed wages for each additional day after the first five days. If an injured worker misses more than 14 days of work due to a job-related injury, workers’ compensation will pay missed wages for the total period, including the first five days.
How is workers' compensation calculated?
Wage benefits vary based on how much you typically earn and what type of disability you have. An individual can have a temporary or permanent disability. Permanent disability benefits vary. However, in the state of Mississippi, temporary disability covers two-thirds of your pay while you’re recovering from your sustained injuries.
Medical benefits are more concrete in their calculations. Typically, workers’ compensation insurance pays out medical bills and related expenses regardless of workdays missed.
Should I hire a Tupelo workers' compensation attorney?
If you’ve sustained on-the-job injuries and believe you’re entitled to worker’s compensation, you should hire a Tupelo worker’s compensation attorney to help you claim your benefits. The attorneys at NST Law have over 30 years of experience handling injury claims.
No matter the current status of your workers’ compensation claim, our legal team can help you through this challenging time and provide you with the legal advice you need after a workplace injury. We want to help you understand your options for benefits. Contact us for a free consultation.