Under Louisiana law, most employees who suffer injuries while performing their job duties have the right to medical care, regardless of what caused their injuries. Louisiana requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance and provide coverage for all workers.
The way workplace injuries and Louisiana workers’ compensation laws work is that the employee reports the incident to their employer, who files paperwork with the insurer. This should, in turn, provide coverage for treatment of their injury or illness and some wage replacement if they miss work.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available in Louisiana?
The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Law, found under La. Rev. Stat. §1020.1, states three purposes:
- To ensure all injured workers receive timely and appropriate payments of temporary or permanent disability benefits
- To pay medical expenses for injuries and illnesses that occurred because of the scope and nature of their work
- To help injured or ill workers return to the workforce
Thus, the benefits available under this statute include:
- Partial wage loss coverage, usually about two-thirds of their average income up to a policy maximum
- Medical expenses that may include doctor visits, hospital stays, therapy and rehabilitation, prescriptions, and long-term care
- Help with learning a new trade, training to return to their job with new challenges, or other occupational services
There are also benefits available if the worker cannot return to their job or work any job. Families can also receive help with funeral and burial costs following a fatal on-the-job accident.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
How do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for My Accident Injury?
In Louisiana, you generally have to report your accident to your employer within 30 days of the injury to preserve your right to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Though there are some exceptions to this rule, they are few and far between. Any injured worker should report their injuries in writing as required as soon as possible.
The employer completes and submits paperwork, and the workers’ compensation insurance provider will review the claim. They will approve or deny benefits. While these cases often go smoothly, this is not always true. The employer might deny the injuries occurred or that they were work-related. Or the insurer could deny the claim for another reason.
If denied benefits, the employee can appeal the decision although there is a deadline. If this happens to you, a workers’ compensation attorney can help. They will represent you in your hearing with a workers’ compensation judge and present evidence to show why you deserve benefits.
Work Injuries and Personal Injury Claims
Most injured workers can file for benefits through workers’ compensation but do not have many other options for additional income or financial recovery until they return to work. In some cases, though, you may also have a personal injury case based on your injuries.
Your attorney will be able to assess your options. You cannot sue your employer or co-worker, but a third party is often involved. For example, imagine a vendor making a delivery caused your injuries. You might have a civil case against the delivery person and their employer.
Workers’ Compensation for Offshore Accident Injuries
Some workers do not qualify for benefits under the Louisiana law, but it is because they fall under another jurisdiction. For example, sailors, longshoremen, shipyard workers, and harbor workers could fall under the Jones Act and/or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act. These federal laws protect those who work on open water or boats that traverse open waters.
If you suffered injuries while working on a sea-faring vessel or in a harbor on the Gulf, you may qualify for different benefits under one of these federal statutes. A personal injury lawyer who handles Jones Act or offshore injury cases can help you better understand your legal options and determine what to do.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help with Your Claim
If you face obstacles while filing your workers’ compensation claim or appealing a denial, an attorney who handles these cases in Louisiana can help. They will know the rules, how to navigate the claims and appeals processes, and what evidence is necessary to get the compensation and benefits you deserve.
They may also evaluate your case to determine if you can hold any third parties legally liable for what happened. This could allow you to seek additional compensation, including remaining lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering.
Speak with Morris Bart, LLC Today About Your Workplace Injury
If you were hurt at work in Louisiana, the Morris Bart law office near you can help. We provide free case assessments and manage these cases based on contingency fee. Call (800) 537-8185 now to get started.
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