When things go wrong on the job, it can lead to a significant injury for you or a loved one. If this injury occurs at work, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills and for some of the wages you are unable to earn while you recover from the injuries.
With a New Orleans workers’ compensation attorney from Morris Bart on your side, you can get help with your case from the initial filing of the lawsuit through a hearing before a judge.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Laws
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, which oversees the state’s workers’ compensation program, those employees who may have been injured on the job or who may have been exposed to a dangerous substance have the ability to receive certain benefits.
Some of the items for which injured workers could receive benefits include:
- Doctor visits related to the injury
- Hospitalization for the injury
- Surgeries and other types of care
- Physical therapy costs
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Recovery of lost wages
While the Louisiana Workforce Commission oversees the workers’ compensation program in the state, the payout of benefits comes from the employer or the workers’ compensation insurer.
For a free legal consultation with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
Problems Employees May Encounter
Although state law regarding workers’ compensation spells out what should happen, things do not always go smoothly when you file a workers’ compensation claim.
It is possible that your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company may dispute your claim of injury, leading to a fight over the compensation you believe you should receive. Workers’ compensation is different than the Jones Act, which is meant to cover eligible seamen. Consult our injury lawyers to learn more about your alternatives to claim damages.
In a workers’ compensation lawsuit, you and your attorney will attempt to show that your employer could have done something differently to prevent you from suffering an injury on the job. Some of the ways in which your employer could have better protected you at work include:
- Providing proper training
- Providing safe tools to use
- Properly disposing of harmful chemicals
- Repairing dangerous workspaces
- Removing slipping and tripping hazards
- Providing safety equipment needed for your job
- Maintaining and caring for vehicles properly
Following Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for your type of job
Should the injury at work lead to the death of the employee, his or her family members have the right to bring a workers’ compensation lawsuit against the employer. You may sue for financial benefits for survivors and compensation for burial costs.
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Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Case Properly
Mistakes made during the process of filing a workers’ compensation case in Louisiana could negatively affect your ability to receive benefits or a settlement. It is easy to miss some of the deadlines or to make a mistake in filing the paperwork when you are focused on trying to recover from your injuries. This is where a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you, keeping your case moving forward.
Here are some of the most common errors injured workers make when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana:
Missing a Deadline
In the majority of Louisiana workers’ compensation cases, the employee must notify the employer of his or her on-the-job injury within one year of the occurrence of the injury. In some cases, the employee can file within one year of diagnosis of the injury, as long as the filing still occurs within two years of the original injury.
By meeting this deadline, the employee maintains his or her right to attempt to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Missing the deadline could cause the employee to forfeit the right to receive benefits.
Showing Evidence of Employment
You also must be able to show that you were employed at the time of the accident, performing the duties expected with your job. Although this seems like it should be easy to prove, an employer may argue that you are not entitled to these benefits because the business considered you to be self-employed or working on a freelance basis, rather than as a full-time employee.
Documenting Your Injuries
To file a workers’ compensation claim, you need to have evidence of the injury you suffered. You can discuss this with a doctor. You will need to visit a doctor to have the injury properly diagnosed. The longer you wait to see a doctor after your injury, the more difficult it will be to prove that this injury was a direct result of an incident at work.
Is It Worth Getting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
There are certain situations where it is worth hiring a lawyer for workers’ compensation, especially when there is a dispute. This includes situations where your injuries require you to take a long or permanent absence from work, claims involving serious injuries with extensive medical treatment, and injuries that aren’t clearly related to your job duties.
Anytime you have questions or concerns, it’s worth reaching out to a Louisiana attorney. With our experience and knowledge of the law, we may be able to shed some insight into your situation. Our team will help you fight for the highest workers’ compensation in Louisiana.
Can I Sue My Employer for Denying Workers’ Compensation?
In most cases, you will not be able to pursue a successful claim against your employer for denying your workers’ compensation claim. Employers are required to pay for employees’ injuries, even if the worker was at fault. The trade-off is that they are immune from liability.
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Whether you suffered an injury on the job in New Orleans Parish, or anywhere else across Louisiana, you have the right to attempt to seek compensation for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. The team at the Morris Bart knows how confusing this can be, and we are ready to help you understand your options, if any.
When you hire us to represent your workers’ compensation claim, we will be ready to begin working on your behalf immediately. We do not shy away from taking on the toughest cases, and we are ready to work through the red tape in any viable workers’ compensation case.
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