Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault insurance system that may allow injured employees to receive medical benefits, wage replacement benefits, and other benefits.
While you generally do not have to show that your employer was negligent to collect benefits, the process of filing a claim may be confusing and fraught with obstacles for injured workers who are simply trying to receive the benefits to which they may be legally entitled.
If you would like assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, an Alexandria workers’ compensation lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you. Call us today at (318) 777-7777 for a free consultation on your case with a member of our team.
Eligibility for Louisiana Workers’ Compensation
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), most workers are covered by workers’ compensation from the day they begin working, including:
- Full-time workers
- Part-time employees
- Seasonal workers
- Minor employees
Some subcontractors and independent contractors may also be considered employees under specific circumstances. In Louisiana, employers must be self-insured or carry workers’ compensation insurance.
For a free legal consultation with a workers' compensation lawyer serving Alexandria, call (318) 777-7777
Injuries and Illnesses Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Louisiana workers’ compensation system may provide benefits for mental and physical injuries stemming from workplace accidents or occupational diseases. Qualifying injuries and illnesses may be subject to the following definitions:
- Workplace accident: this can be either a single event that occurs at work and creates an immediate injury or a repeated event that produces a progressive injury.
- Mental injury: mental injuries may qualify for workers’ compensation if they were caused by a physical injury or some types of stress at work. Like a physical injury, evidence is required to prove a mental injury.
- Occupational disease: this may include a condition associated with a particular trade or occupation that the worker is engaged in. An example of an occupational disease is an injury from exposure to toxic chemicals in industries that require workers to use them.
To establish eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, you must typically show that the injury came from or during your work tasks or activities. Generally, injuries that occur when you are performing work duties or running work errands may be covered.
There may be some exceptions. If you were injured by your own intentional conduct, if you were intoxicated, if you were the aggressor in a work fight, or if you were engaged in horseplay, your injuries may not qualify for workers’ compensation.
Alexandria Workers' Compensation Lawyer Near Me (318) 777-7777
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You may be entitled to recover a variety of different types of workers’ compensation benefits, such as:
Medical Treatment and Mileage
Your employer may be required to pay all necessary medical expenses stemming from your workplace injury or illness. You may also be reimbursed for the cost to travel to and from these medical appointments.
Workers’ compensation benefits may provide partial wage replacement while you are temporarily disabled and unable to work. These temporary disability payments are equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wages, up to a state maximum. You may be able to receive these benefits until your doctor determines you are able to return to work.
Supplemental Earnings Benefits
If you are able to return to work, but your new earnings are less than 90% of the wages you received before the injury, you may be entitled to supplemental earnings benefits, which may be equal to two-thirds of the difference between your wages before and after the injury.
Catastrophic Injury Benefits
If your injury is considered catastrophic, you may be entitled to a one-time lump payment of $50,000. The following injuries may be considered catastrophic:
- Full anatomical loss of both hands, arms, legs, feet, or eyes, or one of any two of these body parts
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
If you are unable to perform the same work duties as before, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits to provide you with training for a new job.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
If you suffered a work injury, follow these steps:
Report Your Injury
While you have up to 30 days to report your work injury, per Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §23:1301, you should report your injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.
Seek Medical Treatment
Seek emergency medical care if necessary. If you are seeking non-emergency treatment, you must get approval from your employer before getting treatment in excess of $750.
Make Sure Your Employer Reports Your Accident
Your employer has 10 days to report your injury to its insurance carrier. It must also notify the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration. You may ask your employer for a copy of the forms it submits regarding your claim.
Examine the Fairness of a Settlement Offer Before Accepting It
Once you settle your claim, no additional benefits may be available. You are not obligated to accept an initial settlement offer if you believe it is unfair.
An Alexandria workers’ compensation lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you estimate the value of your case and determine if a settlement offer is fair. If not, we may be able to negotiate for a different settlement on your behalf.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call (318) 777-7777 today.
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Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Help You
An Alexandria workers’ compensation lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to handle all aspects of your case when we represent you. This may include:
- Gathering evidence that your injuries qualify for workers’ compensation
- Gathering evidence of the value of your damages
- Handling all communications, legal work, and deadlines on your behalf
Our firm can also answer your questions and keep you updated on your workers’ compensation case while you focus on your recovery.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (318) 777-7777 for a free consultation on your case with a member of our team. We may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee-basis.