From casinos and restaurants to hospitals and veterinary clinics, there is a wide variety of jobs in Bossier City Yet, one thing most of these employees have in common is that they are covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
If you have been injured on the job and are planning to file a workers’ compensation claim, or you have already filed a claim and have been denied benefits, an experienced Bossier City workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the process of seeking the benefits you deserve.
Who Is Covered By Workers’ Compensation in Bossier City?
The stated purpose of Louisiana’s workers’ compensation law, as noted in Revised Statutes (RS) §23:1020.1, is to provide the timely payment of temporary or permanent disability benefits to all employees who have become injured or ill as a result of a condition arising out of the scope of their employment, to pay all medical expenses related to the injury or disease, and to return workers to the workforce.
The vast majority of employers in the state are required to provide a workers’ compensation policy on behalf of their employees, including full-time employees, part-time or seasonal workers, and even minors who are employed. As noted by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, even subcontractors and certain independent contractors are considered employees for the purpose of administering worker’s compensation benefits.
Are There Exceptions to the Requirement that Employers Obtain a Workers’ Compensation Policy?
Some employers are exempt from the requirement of obtaining workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, including:
- Federal employees, rail workers, or seamen who obtain worker’s compensation benefits from other programs, including Federal Employer’s Liability Act, Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and Jones Act
- Performers providing services via a performance contract
- Officers and members of the board of directors for nonprofit organizations
- Workers at private, non-incorporated farms
- Workers in private, residential homes
- Real estate brokers who provide services in Louisiana
For a free legal consultation with a Workers' Compensation lawyer serving Bossier City, call (800) 537-8185
Benefits Available Through Louisiana’s Workers’ Compensation Program
Some of the benefits that an individual can receive for a workplace injury in Bossier City through worker’s compensation include:
- Costs associated with the medical treatment of the injury or illness
- Wage replacement, including two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time of your injury, up to a state maximum of 75% of the state average weekly wage and a minimum of 20%
- Supplemental earnings benefits for those who are transitioning back to the workforce after injury but are unable to work enough to earn at least 90% of their pre-injury wages
- Permanent disability benefits, including two-thirds wage replacement for as long as the disability continues
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Bossier City
If an individual has suffered a workplace illness or injury and needs to file a workers’ compensation claim, they should inform their employer of their injury as soon as possible, and no later than 30 days after it occurred. Additionally, they should document the details of the situation that led to them becoming injured in writing, including the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident.
While a Bossier City employer can refer an injured employee to a doctor, the employee has the right to seek medical treatment for their injury from whichever physician they choose, based on the nature of the injury. Once they have reported the injury to their employer, the employer must forward the claim to the provider of their workers’ compensation insurance policy. The insurance provider will then examine the claim and determine whether to award benefits.
If the employee has missed at least two weeks of work as a result of the injury, they are entitled to wage replacement benefits until their recovery allows them to perform the functions of their job.
What Happens If Benefits Are Denied?
In a workers’ compensation claim, either the employer or the insurer can deny the claim. Some common reasons to deny a workers’ compensation claim include:
- The employee failed to notify their employer of their injury in a timely manner or did not seek medical treatment right away for the injury.
- The employee had a pre-existing injury and the employer or insurer has reason to believe that pre-existing injury is the cause of the symptoms the employee is experiencing.
- The employee tested positive for drugs or alcohol when seeking treatment for their injury.
- The employer believes the injury was not work-related.
- The employer had reason to believe that the employee intentionally caused their injury or the injury was the result of horseplay.
If your Bossier City workers’ compensation benefits have been denied, you will be granted the opportunity to appeal the decision. If you choose to appeal, your employer and their insurance provider will be notified and a hearing will be set so both sides can present their evidence. While a workers’ compensation lawyer in Bossier City is not required for this process, having one is extremely important to the success of your claim.
Can You Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Many injured Bossier City workers fail to seek workers’ compensation benefits simply because they need the job and they are worried that their employer will fire them if they file a claim. It is against federal law to fire a worker (or otherwise retaliate against them) for seeking the benefits that are granted by Louisiana’s workers’ compensation law. If you feel that this has happened to you, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
How a Bossier City Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help With Your Claim
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Bossier City understands the process of receiving benefits for your injury and the type of evidence necessary to prove your claim. An attorney can be a helpful guide not only while you are seeking benefits for your injury, but in other situations such as your benefits were denied, delayed, or you feel you are being pushed to return to work before you are ready.
For more information about the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits and how we can help you with your claim, contact the legal team at Morris Bart for a free case evaluation.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.