How Do I Qualify to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits for My Personal Injury?
Under Louisiana law, employees who suffer injuries in the workplace while performing their job duties have the right to medical care, regardless of whether they have been temporarily or permanently injured. The state requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Under this system, most reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to a workplace injury are covered. These expenses can include hospital visits and stays, physical therapy, prescriptions, and nursing or other long-term care.
Workplace accident injuries must be reported to the employer within 30 days of the injury in order to preserve the employee’s right to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Though there are some exceptions to this rule, they a few and far between, and an injured worker should immediately contact a workers’ compensation attorney to preserve these rights.
Injured workers may recover lost wages related to the accident injury, whether or not they are temporarily or permanently disabled. In South Louisiana especially, it is important to note that Longeshoremen, shipyard workers, and harbor works may be afforded additional benefits for their offshore accident injuries under the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act, which are federal laws designed to offer further protection to offshore workers.
Moreover, dependents of employees who die as a result of an on-the-job injury or illness may also be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under one or more of the above laws. Such benefits include survival benefits and burial costs.
What Should I Do If I Am Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If denied workers’ compensation benefits, the injured employee can have as much as up to three years to appeal the decision, which will typically be assigned to a workers’ compensation judge for hearing. In this situation, it is also important for an injured party to consult a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that his or her rights are preserved.
Workplace accidents are no laughing matter, and they can drastically impact not just the injured worker, but his or her entire family. Knowing your rights ahead of time will help to make sure that in the event of an unfortunate workplace injury, you are protected.