Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance can allow an employee who is injured on the job—or their surviving family members if they are killed—to receive financial benefits for costs and damages, such as medical care, lost wage reimbursement, disability compensation, and vocational rehabilitation services.
Most employers in Lafayette are required to provide this coverage to all employees regardless of their employment status. A Lafayette workers’ compensation lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can evaluate your claim and help you pursue compensation.
When is Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Necessary in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Although workers’ compensation is designed to provide injured employees with the compensation necessary to recover from their injuries, it has the dual purpose of protecting employers from personal injury lawsuits. However, in certain situations, filing a lawsuit might be necessary.
Furthermore, if an employer fails to carry coverage, an employee may be eligible to collect compensation through civil action with the help of a personal injury lawyer at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers.
Compensatory Damages Differ for Lawsuits
Workers’ compensation generally covers your medical bills and a portion of your wages. However, with a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover additional compensation for the following types of damages:
- Property damage, which includes costs to fix or replace the property of yours that was damaged in your work-related accident
- Permanent disability, including loss of bodily function
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Current and future income loss (full wages and benefits)
- Reduced earning potential
- Diminished quality of life
- Psychological trauma
Other damages not listed here may also pertain to your case. Our team will inform you about what other compensatory damages you may pursue after reviewing your case.
For a free legal consultation with a workers’ compensations lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
The Statute of Limitations in Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Per CC §3492, plaintiffs must file their personal injury lawsuits against a liable party within one year of the date of injury. Failure to meet this deadline can subject you to having your case dismissed.
However, other factors may toll or extend the statutory deadline attached to your case, such as whether your work-related accident involves a government entity. Our personal injury team will review your case and explain how long you have to file your lawsuit.
Lafayette Workers’ Compensations Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Suing for Gross Negligence
Generally speaking, you are not allowed to sue your employer when you get into a work-related accident, as you are meant to navigate the workers’ compensation system. However, in Louisiana, you can sue your employer if it forces you to work in unsafe working conditions. This is considered gross negligence, which holds your employer liable for injuries and damages you suffer.
If another party contributed to your work-related accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. These parties may include:
- Another employee who contributed to the cause of the accident
- A manufacturer for faulty equipment and machinery
- A maintenance company for faulty equipment and machinery
- A government entity
- A third party, such as another vehicle driver in a car accident
If multiple liable parties exist in your case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit while also pursuing workers’ compensation through your employer’s insurer.
Workers’ Compensation has Limitations on What Employees Can Collect
For those planning on filing a claim with or without a workers’ compensation attorney, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
Unlike with a personal injury lawsuit, an employee who was injured on the job does not have to prove fault to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, once a worker accepts workers’ compensation insurance, they are not eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Periodic payments or lump-sum settlements may be insufficient to cover all present and future costs of recovery. For example, workers’ compensation normally reimburses an injured employee with only two-thirds of their weekly salary, which may not be enough to cover day-to-day expenses in addition to medical bills.
Workers’ compensation claims can be disputed or denied for a variety of reasons. For instance, an employer could argue that an injury did not occur on the job.
Additionally, the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Commission requires injured employees to adhere to strict requirements and filing deadlines. Failure to do so could result in denied claims or delayed payments.
Specifically, a workers’ compensation claim in Lafayette may be denied if the injury was allegedly caused by:
- Willful intent to harm self or others
- Unprovoked physical altercation
Employees who are dealing with a denied claim are not without options for legal recourse. However, the appeals process for having your workers’ compensation case reviewed again could take six to nine months.
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What Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance covers a variety of illnesses and injuries that occur in the workplace. Covered conditions can be best described within the following three categories:
- Injuries that develop over time: Employees who perform the same physical task every day or are exposed to toxic substances may develop repetitive motion injuries or occupational illnesses over time.
- Sudden accident injuries: Events that happen unexpectedly can cause severe injuries and death.
- Stress-related injuries: Mental injuries that result from sudden, unexpected stress in the work environment are covered by workers’ compensation, although these injuries may be more difficult to prove and typically require substantial evidence.
Contact a Lafayette Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help with Your Claim
Workers’ compensation insurance may be able to help you provide for your loved ones as you recover from your work-related injuries. However, employees who enter the workers’ compensation process without a legal advocate may be leaving themselves exposed to delays, denials, and disputes.
Whether you need assistance navigating the complexity of filing a claim, have questions about an existing claim, or want to hear about your rights to a lawsuit, a Lafayette workers’ compensation lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers has the resources to show you what your options are. Call (337) 777-7777 today to schedule a consultation.