Being injured in a workplace accident can be a traumatic event. But it can become even worse when the injured person tries to file claims for their injuries, and the bureaucracy makes it feel impossible. There are several things the injured party should do when making a claim. Missing one or more steps could lead to a denial of the claim–and more money out of pocket for the injured person.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?
There are numerous types of injuries that can occur in the workplace, too many to list in one place. Injuries can range from minor (scrapes or bruises) to fatal. Some of the most common are the following.
- Falls from slipping, tripping, or from surfaces. These can occur because of debris left uncleared, floors with slippery substances that weren’t cleaned or falls from ladders or roofs.
- Harmful substance or environment exposure. This can include injuries resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals that can affect several human organs or hearing damage from loud environments without adequate hearing protection.
- Fires or explosions. These are a risk in many places, but they can be especially dangerous in a workplace that works with flammable chemicals and other materials.
- Being struck by other objects. This can include machinery that tips over, tools dropped from above, arms or legs caught in machinery, or heavy vibrations, among others.
- Violence. This includes injuries caused by other workers or animals in the workplace.
If you’re unsure if the injury you sustained is eligible for a workplace injury claim, it’s highly advisable to contact a workplace injury attorney who can help you determine if the claim is valid and how to move forward if it is.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing Claims for Workplace Injuries in Mississippi?
A statute of limitations is a legal term that sets a deadline for when certain things must be done. In Mississippi, the statute of limitations for filing claims for workplace injuries is two years. That’s from the date of the injury. However, there’s a second requirement that says the injured employee must notify the employer of the injury within 30 days of the injury. Missing either of these deadlines could cause any future claims to be dismissed.
What Needs to be Done to File a Claim for Workplace Injuries?
Mississippi has laws in place that dictate what workers’ compensation claims can be made and under which conditions. But there are several things people often overlook or don’t understand when trying to file claims. These mistakes can cost time and, eventually, money if the claims are denied or the statute of limitations runs out. Because these cases are complicated, these are only some of the areas that can cause problems when filing for workplace injuries.
- Immediately report the injury to the employer. Even if the injury seems minor at the time, they need to report it immediately. If the employee waits until they visit a doctor to learn if they’re seriously injured, the employer could take the stance that the serious injury happened after the employee left the workplace because they didn’t report it.
- Doctor visit. If someone is involved in an accident at work, one of the first things they should do is seek medical attention, even if they feel fine after the accident. They should also let the doctor know about the work accident. There are several reasons for this:
- Some injuries, including severe ones, don’t present symptoms right away. Left untreated, they can worsen and even become life-threatening.
- If the doctor doesn’t know what type of accident the patient was in, they may miss looking for specific injuries. It’s crucial that you provide the doctor with as many details as possible about the accident itself because that becomes part of the medical record. The medical record can be a vital piece of evidence when filing for claims.
- If the doctor finds an injury likely related to the accident, the patient should ask them to report it to the employer. Often people think the doctor will do this automatically, but that’s not always the case.
- Pre-existing condition. Sometimes someone will have a pre-existing condition that worsens due to the accident, but they think they can’t make claims because the condition existed prior to the accident. That’s not necessarily the case. Consulting with a doctor and a workplace injury attorney can determine whether or not the worsened condition can be the subject of a valid claim.
- Failure to follow doctor’s orders. If the injured party is given instructions from a doctor but doesn’t follow them, that can cause claims to be denied.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured at My Workplace?
Call the Rundlett Law Firm at 601-282-8426 for a free, in-depth, no-obligation case evaluation. Workplace injury claims can be complex, and working with an experienced, knowledgeable team of workplace injury attorneys can help guide you through what needs to be done to have a chance for a successful claim.
Something you should not do: Have communications with the workplace’s insurance representatives or attorneys. Their primary goal will be to shift the blame away from the workplace to either reduce how much they have to pay out or potentially not pay out anything. If that doesn’t work, they could try to convince you to accept a much lower settlement than you might be eligible for. Don’t respond to calls, emails, or letters, but forward them to your attorney.