Archive for the ‘Workers Compensation’ Category

Experienced Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorney Discusses Recordkeeping for a Successful Worker’s Compensations Case

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Clients often ask what they can do to better position themselves after a work-related injury.  The first thing to remember is the importance of documentation. If a medical diagnosis or bill is not accessible and organized so that it can be easily found, it is of little use. While hiring an experienced worker’s compensation attorney is a necessary first step to being compensated for your injury, you can best serve yourself by keeping thorough, organized records of your medical treatment.

Even in our digital age, most medical records are still provided on paper.  So a first step is to purchase folders to organize all of your paperwork. Keep individual folders in a large expandable file. Maintain a print record of every document, even if the original was faxed or emailed to you.  Keeping a second, digital copy of scanned documents is also an excellent idea.

Your medical files must contain a record of all appointments you have with doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other healthcare providers. Additionally, keep full copies of all diagnostic records such as X-rays, MRI’s, CAT scans, and other medical assessments. These diagnostic records are vital to documenting your care and progress. As you visit medical professionals providing you treatment, they will provide you updated notes regarding your continuing medical history. Keep those notes in chronological order.

Employer records can also be critical. Any initial report of your injury along with subsequent follow-up reports should be preserved in your files. This is not limited to written reports, but also emails and handwritten notes too. You will also want to keep a record of pay stubs showing days of work lost and sick leave used.  All of these records can be used to paint a picture of how your injury is affecting your ability to earn an income.

Your physician has likely referred you to specialists.  Keep a separate folder for each specialist, with all of their documents organized chronologically.  If you require surgery, for example, it is advisable to keep a folder for that surgery, along with records associated with any pre-surgical testing, operation or surgical report, and follow up notes or reports.

After so much discussion of organization, you may be wondering why this level of record-keeping is necessary. In a worker’s compensation case, neither the opposing party nor a judicial body will just take your word for it that you have been injured in the course of your employment.  Even if your injury is obvious, they will claim that it stems from a preexisting condition or is not a result of your work. An experienced worker’s compensation attorney will be able to use the “paper trail” or chronological record of your injury, treatment, and rehabilitation to prove that you were injured and that the injury is a result of your employment. Just as important, your attorney will be able to use this documentation to demonstrate the amount of compensation you are due to make you whole.

If you do not have all of your records, it is difficult for your attorney to prove your case. If your records are not organized, a lot of time will be lost and extra money spent recreating the record of your injury and treatment. That wastes time and reduces the amount of compensation you will eventually collect. Remember, your compensation will be based on the degree to which your attorney can prove your injury, treatment, and costs related to your workplace injury. Well organized records are critical to making that case.

Call Barrett Law at (800) 707-9577 now to talk to an experienced Mississippi worker’s compensation attorney.

Contacting Barrett Law and getting experienced worker’s compensation representation can mean the difference between comfortably recovering from your injury and financial ruin. Protect your health, protect your family, and receive the legal advice you need now.  Our Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorney is standing by to help you.


Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Personal injury lawsuits result from a variety of circumstances in which an individual is injured as the result of another person’s actions. Car accidents, medical malpractice and slip and falls are some common types of personal injury claims. If another driver causes your injuries, you can hold them liable, if a shop leaves their floors slippery after a spill and you fall suffering injuries, the store can be held liable, and if your doctor gives you the wrong prescription, causing you injury, they can be held liable.

However, when the party that would be liable for your injury is your employer, you might find yourself unable to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim. This is because of workers’ compensation.

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation insurance must be held by most employers. If an employee is injured at work, or while completing a work-related task, then that person will be compensated for his or her injuries through workers compensation. The employee cannot file a lawsuit against his or her employer, even if the employer was negligent. This protects the employer from being sued. However, employees can benefit from workers’ compensation too because they can usually recover benefits even if they caused their injury through their own negligence. So if your employer left a floor wet and slippery with no notice to you, and you fell and were injured, you would not be able to file a lawsuit against them for negligence. On the other hand, if you washed the floor at work, and slipped where you just washed and suffered an injury, you would still be able to collect workers’ compensation, even though you were the person who caused your injury.

What does workers’ compensation cover?

Workers’ compensation covers the medical expenses of a work-related injury. It also covers a portion of an employee’s lost wages. Unlike personal injury lawsuits though, an employee who suffered a work-related injury cannot collect damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress. The amount of compensation an employee receives from workers’ compensation is often less than they would recover in a successful legal claim against someone for negligence.

Are there times when workers’ compensation will not apply?

Not every employee is covered by workers compensation. Some very small businesses and certain industries are not covered. Additionally, if your employer intentionally injured you, then you will likely have the ability to file a suit rather than rely on workers’ compensation.

It is also possible for you to forfeit your right to workers’ compensation through your own actions. For instance, if you were to be injured as the result of a fist fight you started with a co-worker or were hurt while committing a crime at work, you would lose your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

If you suffered a work-related injury, there is a good chance that you will be able to recover through a workers’ compensation program. Unfortunately, even some legitimate workers’ compensation claims end up being denied for a multitude of reasons. If you are attempting to collect workers’ compensation, contact a seasoned Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC at (800) 707-9577 to discuss your claim.


Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi: What No Fault Means

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Workers’ compensation is intended to provide support to individuals who suffer work related injuries. The system pays for expenses such as medical bills, costs for rehabilitation, and a percentage of lost wages. While workers’ compensation programs do not pay out as much as a civil lawsuit typically would in damages, employees benefit from the fact that these programs are “no fault.”

In short, this means that an employee does not have to show that their employer negligently caused their injuries in order to collect compensation. In fact, the employee can actually cause the injury through carelessness, and still be covered by workers’ compensation. In Mississippi, most employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If a business has at least five employees, it is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. While independent contractors, volunteers and some industry specific employees are not covered, the vast majority of workers are included.

What is the meaning of no fault?

The extent of “no fault” was challenged in Mississippi recently by a case involving a police officer who drove his car at speeds up to 90 mph, and was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of an accident. The officer, Kearney Brown, suffered injuries to his neck, head, body, and ankle when he was thrown from his vehicle in 2012. The city of Jackson sought to deny paying out workers’ compensation benefits to Brown by claiming that the officer’s conduct was so reckless that he must have intended to injure himself, and that allowing him to collect benefits would be against public policy since Brown had put others at risk through his actions.

On appeal, the court ruled in favor of Brown, requiring the city to make their workers’ compensation payments to him. The court was not convinced that the driving indicated a desire for self-harm.

The case highlights the benefits that workers get from workers’ compensation programs, In the event that this officer had suffered his injuries outside of work, he would not likely have been able to collect damages in a civil lawsuit. The accident seems to have been a direct result of Brown’s own negligent driving.

When no fault will not apply

Of course, there are limits on workers’ compensation based on the employee’s behavior. Mississippi enacted amendments to its workers’ compensation program in 2012. Employees can now be denied workers’ compensation benefits in cases where the injury was the result of the employee’s use of illegal drugs or alcohol. Employers can request that an injured employee take a drug or alcohol test to determine if he or she was under the influence at the time of the accident that caused the injury. In the event that the employee was found to be intoxicated, it becomes the employee’s burden to prove that the injury was not the result of their use of drugs or alcohol. If an employee refuses to undergo a drug or alcohol test, it will be assumed that they were under the influence, and face the same burden of proof as if they had tested positive.

If you suffered a workplace injury, contact the seasoned Mississippi Workers Compensation Attorney at Barrett Law, PLLC to discuss your claim.


Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney Shares Research that Shows Companies Prioritize Earnings Over Safety

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Many people suspect that companies often place profits at a higher priority than how they treat their workers. A recent study that was published in the Journal of Accounting and Economics analyzes data to examine the relationship between management’s earnings goals and workplace safety. Companies don’t just hire employees to do jobs and hope for the best. Firms employ financial analysts who analyze data and forecast earnings, and management often holds those earnings forecasts in high regard, doing whatever they can to ensure that their earnings numbers meet the analysts’ forecasts.

When management feels pressure to meet earnings forecasts, they, in turn, put pressure on the people who are responsible for producing the goods or services that will bring in the earnings. They tell supervisors to have their employees work harder and faster to produce as much as possible. However, employees can only work so hard and so fast before their work practices become unsafe.

Tragic injuries and deaths can occur in manufacturing, and other types of workplaces and more accidents happen when the pressure to produce is at its peak. Managers who feel pressure to meet earnings forecasts increase their workers’ workloads by urging them to work faster or to work more hours. Working faster often means cutting corners, and cutting corners often involve sacrificing safety for speed. It is not difficult to see how a person is more likely to get hurt when they are operating a machine as fast as they can than they are when they are using the same device at a slower, more steady pace. There is also a risk for overexertion when workers are working as hard and as fast as they can.

Another way in which a need for speed makes a workplace less safe is that managers may encourage employees to skip maintenance tasks, training time, and other safety-related job functions to keep on producing as much as they can during their working hours.

The research indicates that injury and job-related illness rates are higher for firms that just barely meet or exceed earnings forecasts. Companies that far exceed analysts’ forecasts have lower injury rates, and so do companies that come in well below the analysts’ forecasts. The study also analyzed union vs. non-union injury rates, and the findings indicate that injury rates at union firms are much lower than at non-union workplaces. This is likely due in part to the fact that union employees negotiate safety procedures into their contracts and they also have union representatives that the can talk to if they encounter safety issues. This is a sharp contrast to non-union workers, who may feel like they can’t report unsafe conditions or situations to their supervisors out of fear that they will be reprimanded or told to ignore the danger and keep on producing

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Workplace Accident Victims Recover

If the pressure to produce more faster at your job was a contributing factor in your work-related injury, you are not alone. Many workers face pressure from profit-minded management to produce as much as possible, even if it means rushing your work along and ignoring safe work practices when taking the time to do things the safe way would slow you down. To learn more about how we could help you with a workplace accident claim, call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Talk About The Risks of Inhumane Working Conditions in America

Friday, March 31st, 2017

When you hear people talk about inhumane working conditions in factories, you might think that they are speaking about a historical event, like the deplorable conditions and child labor that were common in factories during the Industrial Revolution. Alternatively, you might think that they are talking about foreign manufacturing plants, where workers are paid little and expected to produce much. Surely inhumane working conditions are a thing of the past in America – or are they? A look into some of the workplace accidents that occur in American factories reveals the dangers that are present in American manufacturing jobs and the sorry state of the American manufacturing workplace.

The growth of the auto parts industry in the American South provides an example of how foreign competition affects domestic workplace safety. American factories compete for low-margin orders against Asian and Mexican suppliers by promising delivery schedules that they cannot reasonably expect to meet. In efforts to avoid the enormous financial penalties that they will face if they fall short of those plans, manufacturers schedule their employees to work crazy schedules for months on end. The workers are not paid well, especially in light of the intense pressure to perform that they experience day in and day out, job satisfaction is low, and turnover rates are high. Perhaps even more importantly, safety is sacrificed at every turn, and the risk of injury and death is just as high in some of these American factories as it is in the Asian and Mexican plants that cause us to gasp in horror when we see them on the news.

The risk to American auto parts manufacturing workers is not evenly distributed across the country, either. Workers in the South get paid seventy cents per dollar earned by their counterparts in the Northern states where more of the manufacturing labor is organized. Labor unions are much less prevalent in the South, so workers there enjoy fewer of the safety and financial protections that organized labor can provide. OSHA is aware of the discrepancies in safety and fairness among manufacturing plants in various regions, and it is doing its best to address workplace safety violations in the South. Unfortunately, OSHA cannot move fast enough to prevent the frequent, serious and sometimes even fatal manufacturing accidents that occur in our region.

The accidents that occur in manufacturing facilities in the American South are tragic. Workers are being asked to continue working when they are very tired, which increases the risk of injury. They also keep assembly lines rolling, even when machinery shows signs that it is malfunctioning. For example, a man lost his finger while operating a punch that had been performing strangely all day. The punch got stuck, and then it fired suddenly, amputating his finger.

Employee training in many foreign-owned American auto parts manufacturing plants is severely lacking. For example, Ajin USA, the company that owns the facility where a young woman died after being impaled by and trapped in a robot on an assembly line, was charged with numerous OSHA violations both before and after the tragic incident. Some of those violations were connected with eight incidences of digit amputation by welding machines in that facility, indicating that unsafe conditions at that plant and others are allowed to persist even after accidents occur.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Representing Injured Mississippi Workers

If you got hurt at work, get help from a Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney. Call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to learn more.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Discuss Horrific Accident at Auto Parts Plant

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Auto parts manufacturing is a growing industry across the American South. While the factories and the jobs that they provide do benefit the local economy and provide jobs for many people, there are risks associated with working in automobile parts manufacturing facilities. The machines that are used to make auto parts are diverse and complex. Workers who use the devices are supposed to receive training on how to use the machines, and what to do when they malfunction to keep themselves safe. A horrific accident at an Alabama parts manufacturing plant illustrates just how dangerous the equipment in auto parts manufacturing facilities is.

A young woman got killed at the Ajin USA plant in Cusseta, Alabama. One day, she was working with a robot which mounted pillars for side view mirrors on dashboard frames. The machine often stopped when bolts got stuck in it, and when the machine stopped that day, the team that was working in that area called the facility maintenance crew to come and fix it. The woman and her co-workers watched and waited, becoming more and more impatient as time passed because they had quotas that they were expected to fill. The pressure to fill quotas and work quickly is a common characteristic of auto manufacturing plant jobs.

Unfortunately, the pressure to fill quotas and to fill them quickly can cost lives, when workers take matters into their own hands, as evidenced by what happened next. After a while of waiting, the young woman grabbed a screwdriver and went into a screened-off area around the robot. She tried to clear the fault herself, and as she did, the robot turned on and pinned her against a steel dashboard frame. The robot impaled her upper body with a pair of welding tips. A co-worker activated the emergency shut-off, and the young woman got trapped in the machine. Co-workers tried to free her from its grasp to no avail. Someone went to get a maintenance person, and another person called for help. The maintenance worker did not know how to free the woman from the robot, but when emergency personnel arrived at the plant, they locked out the robot’s emergency power switch so that it could not reactivate and extracted her from the machine. The young woman got rushed to the hospital and then airlifted to a trauma center. She died as a result of her injuries the next day.

Locking out an emergency power switch is an essential safety procedure that factory workers at all kinds of industrial facilities should be trained in and equipped for. Under Federal law, no one is supposed to examine an industrial machine or robot without first having locked out the switch. It is alleged that workers at the Ajin plant did not have access to safety locks or lockout training.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Help for the Families of Victims of Fatal Mississippi Workplace Accidents

If someone that you love lost their life in a manufacturing facility accident, it is imperative that you get assistance from a Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney. Workplace accident attorneys understand worker’s compensation law, as well as the dangers of modern workplaces of all kinds. They work to serve families like yours in their times of need. To learn more, call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Talk about Forklift Accidents

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Last year, a man died after he got struck by a forklift at the Armstrong Flooring in Jackson. Forklift accidents are a common cause of workplace injuries and deaths across America. Forklifts are in many different types of workplaces, so it is important that all workers who encounter forklifts in their workplaces know about the dangers of forklift accidents so that they might be able to avoid them.

Forklifts are involved in approximately one percent of factory and warehouse accidents, yet the injuries caused by those accidents are often serious and sometimes even fatal. About eighty-five people die in forklift accidents each year. Nearly thirty-five thousand people are seriously injured by forklifts every year, and another sixty-two thousand receive non-serious injuries in forklift accidents.

The most common type of workplace accident involving a forklift occurs when the forklift tips over. It is not surprising that this is how many forklift accidents happen, because of the nature of forklifts and the functions that they perform. Forklifts are very heavy, weighing in at approximately three times the weight of an average car. They do not have brakes in the rear, only in the front, and this, combined with their unevenly distributed weight (more in the rear, less in the front where the forks are) makes them handle much differently than the passenger vehicles that people drive every day. Sometimes, it’s hard for a forklift driver to see around the large or awkwardly shaped load on the front of a forklift, and this increases the risk of a collision with a person or an object. When a forklift is lifting a heavy load to a high place, there is the danger that the load will fall or the forklift will tip.

Fortunately, there is room for improvement as far as forklift accidents are concerned. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that the number of forklift accidents could be reduced by over half if the people who operate forklifts and work in places where forklifts are in use received more comprehensive training about how to run them and work near them safely. It is possible to prevent injuries by installing barriers around forklift work areas to keep pedestrians safe. Shields and barriers that can be placed on doors, corners, shelves, and other areas to prevent property damage from forklift impacts.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Workers Injured in Mississippi Workplace Accidents

If you work in a facility where there are forklifts, you are at risk for a forklift injury whether or not you operate or work with the forklifts yourself. If you got hurt in a forklift accident or someone that you love was killed in a forklift accident, it is crucial that you seek assistance from a Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney. Your attorney knows the details of worker’s compensation law, and they can help you navigate the claims process. If you have questions about worker’s compensation or workplace accidents, call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Discuss Changes to Workplace Safety Rules

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Last summer, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) changed some of its workplace safety rules and increased its citation structure to encourage employers to be diligent in keeping workers safe and fulfilling their regulatory obligations. Some information about the rule changes may have been passed along to some employees in some workplaces, but many employees may have no idea that some of the rules have changed, let alone how any of the changes apply to them.

Some of the OSHA rule changes involve the procedures for tracking and reporting illnesses and injuries that occur in the workplace. Some employers must now begin submitting illness and injury information to OSHA electronically. This is not a huge change because the information that must be submitted is information that they were already required to collect and keep under previous OSHA rules.

While the electronic filing requirement is important, only some individuals are likely to be aware of it, particularly those people who will be submitting the information to OSHA as part of the work that they do. All employees may be more interested in learning about another change in the OSHA rules, the anti-retaliation provisions. In the interest of collecting accurate data regarding workplace injuries, employees must feel safe reporting injuries and discussing the details of their injuries. Employees who fear retaliation are unlikely to disclose the types of information that OSHA wishes to collect, and so OSHA has created three provisions that it hopes will create a workplace atmosphere in which employees feel safe reporting the details of their injuries.

You may have seen a poster in your workplace that reads “Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law.” This poster, along with statements in your employee handbooks and orientation materials fulfill your employer’s obligation to let you know that you have the right to report any and all workplace injuries. Also, your employer must have a reporting procedure for injuries and illnesses which is reasonable. If the reporting policy at your workplace discourages employees from reporting illnesses or injuries in any way, it could be a violation of this provision. Thirdly, employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who report work-related lionesses or injuries by having incentive policies, drug testing policies, or disciplinary policies that would have a retaliatory effect.

Sometimes, it can be hard to distinguish between a retaliatory disciplinary policy and one that is not retaliatory. For example, it is okay for an employer to impose disciplinary consequences upon an employee who violated one or more safety rules, even if they got hurt while they were violating the rule. In contrast, it is not acceptable for an employer to terminate, reassign, harass, or suspend an employee merely because they reported an injury. There must be a valid grounds for any termination, suspension, or reassignment.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Representing Injured Workers Throughout Mississippi

If you got hurt at work, report your injury to your employer right away. Reporting injuries and illnesses in the workplace is your right, and it is important that you follow the proper procedure for reporting the injury so that you can file a claim for worker’s compensation if such a claim is appropriate in your situation. Worker’s compensation claims can be complex and time-consuming, so it is best to get help from a Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney. Please call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Talks about Employability

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Workplace accident cases seem to have a language that is all their own. The terms that are used in workplace accident cases often define the outcomes of those cases. Anyone who has gotten hurt at work is likely to find themselves immersed in a sea of unfamiliar words that will be used to determine whether they receive compensation for their injuries and how much compensation they will get.

One recent workplace injury case in Mississippi sheds some light on what it means to be employable. The Mississippi Court of Appeals’ decision in Hathorn v. ESCO Corp., No. 2015-WC-01528-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 11/15/16) tells us that there is a difference between being unable to find a job and being unemployable.

The case involves a man who hurt his hand when he was operating a grinder at a facility that makes steel parts for mining equipment. His injury was deemed compensable, and he was eventually able to return to work with medical restrictions. His doctor told him not to use a grinder or lift more than fifty pounds, so he did janitorial and maintenance tasks, and he ran errands. He worked in this way for over a year, and one day he was asked to operate a forklift, so he did. That evening, his hand swelled up dramatically, and he went to see his doctor. The doctor examined his hand and told him not to do any more work involving forklifts.

A couple of weeks after the man had been told by his doctor to refrain from operating forklifts, his employer asked him to use one again. The man asked whether someone else could do it because he could not, and told his superiors that he was medically unable to operate the forklift. He was placed on leave and given a few days to obtain a note from the doctor to certify that he was medically unable to operate the forklift. When he did not produce the note within the prescribed amount of time, he was fired for insubordination.

As a result, the man looked for work, but he was unable to find a job. The fact that he had been working for over a year, taken together with the fact that he was able to perform a range of different tasks while he was working show that he can do at least some types of work. While this man may not be as employable as a person who has no medical restrictions on the types of work that they can do, the man’s injury does not make him unemployable. It also does not seem as though the man exhausted all of the possibilities during his job search – he admitted that he did not look for security, maintenance, or housekeeping jobs, even though he has the skills and the physical abilities to perform at least some jobs in those fields.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Representing Workplace Accident Victims Across Mississippi  

If you got hurt on the job, it is important that you know that you do not have to learn and apply the language of worker’s compensation all on your own. The Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to guide you through the worker’s compensation claims process while you work on recovering from your injury. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Talk about Accidents Involving Contractors

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently issued a worker’s compensation decision that addresses a somewhat unusual but not completely unheard of employment scenario – the situation in which a premises owner acts as its contractor. The case involves a man who got severely burned while he was working at the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula. At the time of the accident, Quindon Thomas worked for a company called American Plant Services (APS), with which Chevron had contracted to perform maintenance services at its refinery. In 2012, Thomas was at the Chevron refinery, doing maintenance work, when a Chevron employee that was working in close proximity to Thomas opened a valve which released hot water, steam, and coke onto Thomas, severely burning most of his body.

After he was injured, Thomas collected worker’s compensation from Chevron as was provided for by a 2010 contract between Chevron and APS that established that Chevron would provide workers’ compensation insurance for all APS employees who were working at the Chevron refinery through Chevron’s Owner-Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP).

After Thomas had exhausted the worker’s compensation insurance policy limits, he and his wife tried to sue Chevron over dangerous conditions at the refinery. The circuit court ruled against Thomas, and he appealed the decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which recently issued decision NO. 2016-CA-00101-SCT in his favor. That decision allows Thomas and his wife to bring a suit against Chevron for damages that he sustained as the result of dangerous conditions at the refinery. Specifically, Thomas and his wife plan to sue Chevron and the employee who opened the valve for negligence and premises liability.

Chevron had sought immunity from that suit, claiming that it was Thomas’s statutory employer, and, as such that it was entitled to immunity from the lawsuit under the Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Act’s exclusive remedy provision. Specifically, Chevron claimed that Mississippi Code Section 71-3-91 granted it immunity from tort liability because it had acted as its own general contractor in providing worker’s compensation benefits to Thomas. Thomas asserted that premises owners are often employers who carry workers’ compensation insurance and who contract with other people who are not their employees to perform work on their premises. In fact, he references the worker’s compensation coverage contract between Chevron and APS which clearly labels APS as a contractor, thus negating Chevron’s assertion that he was their statutory employee. The Court’s ruling states that Chevron may not obtain immunity from tort liability by voluntarily purchasing worker’s compensation benefits for APS’s workers.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Help for Families Affected by Mississippi Workplace Accidents

If you work as a contracted employee on another company’s premises, Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision in the Thomas case may apply to you under certain circumstances, depending upon the nature of the contracts between your employer and the owner of the premises. This case illustrates that not every worker’s compensation case is simple and straightforward, in fact, they rarely are. If you were injured on the job, it is best not to take any chances when pursuing a claim for compensation. A Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney understands the nuances of worker’s compensation law, and they can take over the task of pursuing your claim for damages so that you can devote your time and energy to healing from your injury. To learn more, call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a consultation.