For the most part, when a person is hurt on another’s property due to the owner’s negligence, the person can file a personal injury lawsuit. However, circumstances are different in a work environment. When workers suffer injuries, most will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that cover their accident-related medical bills and provide two-thirds of their average wages.
Unfortunately, many injured workers do not get the help they need immediately. Instead, they must fight with their employer or the insurance company to get what they are entitled to receive. Insurers sometimes unfairly deny workers the compensation due to them or offer an unfair settlement deal. If you find yourself in this situation, a Houma workers’ compensation lawyer can help you fight for the benefits you deserve.
Know Your Employer’s Responsibilities
In Louisiana, most companies are required to provide worker’s compensation insurance. Generally, employers are responsible for doing these three things:
- Employers must display employee notices at the worksite.
- Employers must keep records of lost time due to injuries or illness.
- Employers must also report lost time and other accident reports.
It is important to know your rights should you suffer a workplace accident. A Houma workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine if you have a workers’ compensation claim.
For a free legal consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer serving Houma, call (337) 777-7777
What Can I Include in My Houma Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A wide variety of injuries and illnesses may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The Louisiana Workforce Commission explains how these typically fall into three categories:
- Accident injuries can occur from a slip and fall, malfunctioning equipment, or other incidents.
- Mental injuries could develop from being excessively stressed or overworked.
- Occupational diseases could develop over time that result from continuous exposure to toxins or repetitive physical tasks.
When an injury occurs, you may incur hefty medical bills and lost wages. These are economic damages and are easy to calculate as part of your workers’ compensation claim.
Under RS § 23.1035, most employers are required to provide insurance to their employees. The Louisiana workers’ compensation system may protect you after a workplace accident in Houma. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether you qualify.
Houma Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
When Should I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
There is a statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in Louisiana, and it differs greatly from the deadlines for personal injury claims. RS § 23.1301 gives you just 30 days after your injury to notify your employer of an on-the-job injury or illness.
If you cannot file the claim while in the hospital, someone can file your claim on your behalf. You also can file a claim on behalf of a deceased loved one following a workplace accident. A workers’ compensation lawyer can advise you further about this procedure.
What Steps Must I Take to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You must take specific steps to file a workers’ compensation claim following a workplace injury or illness diagnosis. If the claim is filed incorrectly, you might delay the process and even risk your claim being denied. In addition, if your employer or the insurance company denies your claim, you might need to file an appeal.
Get Medical Attention
First and foremost, seek medical attention. Obtain documentation of your injuries that can prove your workers’ compensation claim.
Provide Written Notification To Your Employer
You must notify your employer if they do not yet know of your injury. You must make this notification within 30 days of the incident. This notification should be in writing and contain:
- Your personal information
- Details of your injuries
- How you suffered your injury
- How the injury has affected you
Consult a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You might want to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer before proceeding further. They can help you prepare claim paperwork and gather evidence that proves the injury occurred at the workplace and the extent of your damages.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Employers have 10 days after receiving notice to file their report with the workers’ compensation insurance company. If your employer disputes any of the facts regarding your claim, it may go before a mediator with District 9 of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OCWA), which includes Houma.
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How Can a Houma Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help Me With My Claim?
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you in several ways with your claim while you recover from your workplace injuries.
There is a lot of paperwork involved in a workers’ compensation claim. Your attorney can fill out forms, handle your claim, negotiate a workers’ compensation offer with the insurance company, and challenge a denial. They can also collect evidence and document your injuries.
While reviewing your case, your Houma workers’ compensation lawyer can also help you pursue a personal injury case if a negligent third party was responsible for your injury at your worksite. Again, your attorney will advise you of the best options to pursue compensation and receive the best outcome for your case.
Communication with Insurance Companies
Your lawyer has plenty of experience dealing with insurance companies. If an insurance company offers you a settlement, an attorney can review the offer and advise whether it adequately meets your needs.
It is probably not a good idea to accept the first offer that the insurance company makes. They likely will present a lowball offer at first, and your Houma workers’ compensation lawyer could negotiate for an increased amount. Having someone in your corner is often vital to the success of your claim.
How Much Does a Houma Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Your workers’ compensation lawyer will represent you on a contingency basis. This arrangement means you only pay for their services if you receive compensation – and RS § 23.1141 caps their fee at 20 percent of your award. If you do not receive a settlement, you owe them nothing.
Considering that you already face mounting bills to pay, this contingency system allows you to pursue your workers’ compensation claim while receiving comprehensive and professional legal representation without worrying about the cost.
Let Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Help With Your Houma Workers’ Compensation Claim
When you need assistance to file a workers’ compensation claim, the team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is ready to help. Our Houma workers’ compensation lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your workplace injury. Call us today at (337) 777-7777 and speak with a team member about your claim. The initial consultation is free.