Claiming Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi After a Crane Collapse

Claiming Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi After a Crane CollapseLike any type of construction equipment or vehicle, cranes have been known to fail. It’s not difficult to imagine how the collapse of an enormous, heavy construction crane can have devastating consequences. These accidents can occur due to a variety of factors, but regardless of the causes, they can result in severe injuries or even fatalities in the workplace.

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on workplace safety and the prevention of hazards. However, crane accidents are not uncommon, and it is sometimes possible for those injured due to a crane collapse to seek various forms of compensation.

Understanding Mississippi’s workers’ compensation program

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It is designed to ensure that workers receive timely medical treatment and financial support while they recover from their injuries, medical conditions, or disabilities. Workers’ compensation laws vary by jurisdiction, but they generally provide a no-fault system, meaning that employees are entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to streamline the claims process and provide a more straightforward way for injured workers to receive compensation without having to go through lengthy legal proceedings.

Eligibility for workers’ compensation after a crane collapse

Eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits after a crane collapse primarily depends on the individual’s employment status and the specific circumstances of the accident. Both full-time and part-time employees may be covered by workers’ compensation, although some jurisdictions have requirements regarding the number of hours worked or the duration of employment. In Mississippi, companies with five or more regular employees are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage, which begins as soon as a worker becomes employed. However, workers’ compensation generally does not extend to independent contractors.

To establish eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits after a crane collapse, it is necessary to demonstrate that the accident occurred within the scope of employment. This means that the injury must have resulted from work-related activities or occurred on the job site during working hours. Proving these factors is not always straightforward, which is why it is so important to seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Immediate steps to take after a crane collapse

After sustaining an injury due to a crane collapse, it’s critical to take specific steps to protect your wellbeing and rights, as well as lay the groundwork for a successful claim. First and foremost, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is not only to ensure your own safety, but to generate a medical record of your injuries, which can strengthen your claim. Next, it’s critical to report the incident. Notify your employer or supervisor about the crane collapse as soon as possible, following your company’s established protocols for reporting accidents and injuries. Make sure that the incident is documented in writing, including the date, time, location, and a detailed description of what occurred. Finally, consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Getting legal advice can provide valuable guidance regarding your rights and the claims process.

Third-party liability in crane collapse cases

In some crane collapse incidents, parties other than the employer may bear responsibility for the accident, leading to potential third-party liability. For instance, various parties involved in the design, manufacturing, maintenance, operation, or oversight of the crane may be held legally accountable for the injuries and damages resulting from the crane collapse. In these cases, an injured worker may be able to file a personal injury claim against the third party. Unlike workers’ compensation, a personal injury claim allows the litigant to seek compensation for damages such as pain and suffering and loss of future earning capacity.

It is important to note that pursuing a third-party claim does not negate the worker’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation provides essential medical treatment and wage replacement, while a successful personal injury claim against a third party can provide additional compensation for non-economic damages. By seeking competent legal representation, you can coordinate these potential benefits, optimizing your chances of obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and potential long-term effects resulting from the crane collapse.

Investigating the cause of a crane collapse

While determining the cause of a crane collapse is not necessary to seek workers’ compensation, it is a crucial step in pursuing a personal injury claim. Insurance companies, attorneys, safety administrations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and even an employer’s own investigation team, may be involved in the collection and preservation of evidence. These groups will examine all relevant factors that may have led to the crane collapse, including the crane’s maintenance history, inspection records, and the qualifications of the crane operator.

Additionally, investigators will evaluate the worksite conditions, including ground stability and adherence to safety regulations. Relevant physical evidence will also be reviewed, such as photographs of the accident, incident reports, and witness statements. If the evidence shows that parties other than an employer are responsible, workers may be entitled to third-party damages in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.

When it comes to workers’ compensation and personal injury claims, there are strict timelines and deadlines that must be observed closely. This is why it is essential to contact an experienced crane collapse injury attorney immediately after an accident. At Merkel & Cocke, P.A., our dedicated team of lawyers knows how to navigate the complexities of the claims process and advocate aggressively for workers’ rights. We can handle settlement negotiations, build a fortress of strong evidence, and push for maximum compensation for our clients. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation by calling our office or completing our contact form. We proudly serve Jackson, Clarksdale, Greenville and Oxford, Tupelo, and the Gulf Coast.