If you are injured at work in Louisiana, it can pose serious repercussions to your livelihood. Knowing that the law provides you with certain rights is key when filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
Oftentimes your workers’ compensation rights are disregarded by employers and insurance companies, which means that you may not receive the full outcome of what you deserve. Contact a Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer and get the full compensation you are entitled to.
What rights are you entitled to under workers’ compensation?
If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to several important benefits.
Wage benefits compensate you for a portion of your income loss during the time that you are unable to work due to your injury. The benefits are 66% of your average weekly wage for four full weeks immediately preceding your accident and is subject to a statutory cap.
Medical benefits are provided for all treatments medically necessary and related to the job injury. At the insurance company’s expense, you have the right to be treated by a doctor of your choice. If you have been sent to a company doctor in the past, you may be able to change to a doctor of your choice. You should continue to receive medical care until you have reached maximum medical improvement.
Travel Reimbursement is compensation for travel to and from medical appointments related to your injury that you are paid back for. You should accurately document each visit and include the date, where you went and for what, mileage and any other legitimate costs you incur while traveling for medical attention.
Vocational Rehabilitation is paid for by the insurance company, and is a service provided to assist you in finding another job if you cannot return to your pre-injury employer. You should be able to get the most out of their services, but often the rehab counselors are trying to help the insurance company reduce or cut off your benefits. Even if you are working with a vocational counselor, you should keep your own record of job searching activities. This will help you keep track and be prepared to dispute the vocational counselor regarding whether jobs they identified were actually available.
Supplemental Earnings Benefits (SEB)
Supplemental Earnings Benefits (SEB) is available if you are not able to earn 90% of your pre-injury monthly earnings. SEB will pay 2/3 of the difference between your pre-injury and post injury average monthly earnings, up to your statutory cap. This will help compensate for some of your monthly earnings that were lost due to the injury, even after you return to work.
What should you do if your workers’ compensation rights are violated?
If you are treated unjustly or denied benefits from your employer or the insurance company you may be able to recover monetary penalties against the insurance company or employer.