If you suffer an injury at work, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your medical expenses and lost wages. If your claim is unfairly rejected or you do not receive the benefits you qualify for, you may be able to appeal the decision in your case.
You can hire a New Orleans workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you, so you do not have to navigate the appeals process alone. A free consultation with our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you learn more about your legal options and what a lawyer can do for you.
Who Qualifies For Workers’ Compensation?
In theory, any employee who suffers injuries or contracts an illness due to their job should qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits, per RS 23:1020.1. This includes, but may not be limited to, workers who are:
Yet, many workers with legitimate claims are unfairly denied these benefits by employers and their insurance companies. Workers’ compensation benefits can make a big difference in injured workers’ financial stability, and rejection can be discouraging.
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LAWorks), you can appeal the decision if you received a claim denial. Before you can do so, however, it is important to identify why your claim was denied.
For a free legal consultation with a workers' compensation lawyer serving New Orleans, call (504) 777-7777
Reasons For Workers’ Compensation Denials
There are several reasons an employer or workers’ compensation insurance company may deny a claim for benefits. The following are common examples:
- The employer disputes the nature of the injury. Your employer may claim that the injury did not occur due to work-related activities or that you intentionally caused the injury to yourself.
- The claim was filed late. You must abide by certain deadlines when seeking workers’ compensation benefits. These include a deadline to report your injury and another to file your claim.
- There was not enough information in the claim. Incomplete paperwork can sometimes delay your approval for benefits. Other times, it can lead to an outright denial.
Determining why your claim was denied can help you build an appeal that supports your right to benefits. Unfortunately, the reason may not always be clear. A New Orleans personal injury lawyer could investigate the claim denial for you and help you present evidence to dispute it.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers represents injured workers and helps them seek the benefits they need. You can call us to receive a free consultation and discuss your case with a member of our team.
New Orleans Workers' Compensation Lawyer Near Me (504) 777-7777
How A Lawyer Can Help With An Orleans Parish Workers’ Compensation Case
Working with a New Orleans workers’ comp attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may help you get the wage loss benefits and medical care you need to take care of your family until you can return to work. Our team is here to support you and manage your case.
We work based on contingency fees. We do not ask you to pay us anything up front, and we do not charge by the hour. Instead, we get paid a percentage of the backpay or other lump sum you receive because of our work on your case. We can discuss this in-depth before you sign our contract.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to get to work on your claim or appeal. When you hire an attorney to handle your workers’ compensation case, they can perform several services on your behalf. For example, your lawyer can:
This evidence can include medical records showing the extent of your injuries and their connection to your job. It can also include witness testimony from your coworkers who witnessed the injury or an expert in your field concerning the physical demands of your job.
Protect Your Rights
Our team can quickly assess the benefits you deserve based on your injuries and your case’s facts. We will handle all communication with the involved parties and fight for coverage and compensation for you. Our attorneys understand how to protect our clients’ best interests and will do so throughout the process.
Allow You To Focus On Healing
When our team manages your case, we handle all aspects of building your claim or denial and pursuing benefits for you. You can focus fully on getting treatment and recovering from your injuries. You may be able to return to work part-time or go back to your normal tasks and schedule. If you do, we will still pursue the backpay and other benefits owed to you based on your workers’ compensation coverage.
Calculate Fair Compensation
Your attorney can calculate fair compensation by considering the extent of your injuries, the medical treatment they require, and how they will affect your future ability to make a living. Then they will help you fight for this compensation.
If you are still out of work, we can calculate how much your wage loss benefits should be, fight through any obstacles, challenge a denial, or take other steps to get it for you.
Negotiate On Your Behalf
You do not have to negotiate with an employer or insurance company on your own. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and make sure the benefits you receive cover your damages.
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Types Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is required to pay out certain benefits for eligible workers. If you are hurt on the job, you should be able to file your claim and get these benefits, although it is not always easy. The types of benefits your attorney may be able to help you recover fall into four main categories:
Medical Coverage For Workplace Injuries
Medical benefits help cover the cost of doctors’ visits, diagnostic tests, treatments, and any other medical expenses resulting from the occupational illness or injury. Note that certain procedures may not be covered, and some types of care, like physical therapy, may be limited to a certain number of visits.
In general, though, if you see an approved doctor and follow their recommendations for prescribed treatment, you should not receive a bill for your care. The workers’ compensation insurance should pay the doctor on your behalf.
Disability Benefits For Time Missed At Work
This coverage is here to help make up for some of your lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from working at all, you may receive about two-thirds of your usual pay up to a set maximum. However, not everyone receives temporary total disability for the entire time they are away from work.
Depending on the extent of your injury, a disability can be classified into one of four categories. The first, temporary total, is for workers who are completely unable to work for a short period. They return to work once they can. A temporary partial disability has only partially disabled a worker, allowing them to work part-time while they heal. In some cases, they could work normal hours with reduced duties.
The permanent total category consists of injuries that cannot be healed and prevent the worker from earning income in this same type of job in the future. Permanent partial means that an injury prevents a worker from earning as much income as they could before.
If you cannot work in the same field, vocational rehabilitation can help you find a job in a new field. You may also be able to learn how to do your previous job with new impairments or physical difficulties under certain circumstances. Psychological rehabilitation may also be available if the workplace injury caused trauma and mental anguish.
If a worker dies due to an injury on the job, death benefits can be paid out to the surviving spouse, children, and other dependents. This could include a one-time payment and reasonable funeral and burial costs.
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Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit For A New Orleans Workplace Injury
If you are injured in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation was created to ensure you have the financial resources to recover from your injuries. By instituting workers’ compensation laws, Louisiana offers the coverage workers need for on-the-job injuries while protecting employers from personal injury lawsuits.
In some cases, it may still be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if the employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, if workers’ compensation does not cover all your damages, or if your injury was due to gross negligence by your employer or a third party, you may need to seek additional compensation through the legal system.
Damages You Can Seek In A Personal Injury Lawsuit In New Orleans
Workers’ compensation typically covers medical expenses and lost wages, so individuals with serious or long-term injuries may not receive the full compensation they need to cover all the damages associated with a workplace incident.
Damages you could include in a personal injury lawsuit for a New Orleans workplace injury include:
- Replacement or repair of property damaged in a work-related accident
- Lost quality of life
- Psychological distress
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced future income potential
- Chronic disability
- Medical equipment and long-term care
Establishing Fault In A New Orleans Workers’ Injury Lawsuit
You may be able to file a lawsuit instead of or in addition to a workers’ compensation claim if the accident was wholly or partially due to someone other than your employer. If the cause of your accident involved gross negligence by another party, you could sue them for additional compensation. Other at-fault parties in a workplace injury could include:
- The driver of another vehicle
- A negligent co-worker, supervisor, or other individual
- The company responsible for equipment repairs and maintenance
- The manufacturer of faulty or defective equipment
- Local or state organization responsible for road maintenance, utilities, or other faulty facilities or infrastructure that contributed to the accident
Establishing fault is a critical aspect of your New Orleans workers’ compensation case, whether you are filing a claim with workers’ comp or a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys can help you determine all the at-fault parties for your workplace injury, so you can seek the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Wrongful Death Due To A New Orleans Workplace Injury
If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation may not cover the expenses associated with the loss of your loved one. Our wrongful death attorneys can help you seek the compensation you need to cope with the loss of your loved one. Losses we could include in your wrongful death claim include lost income, hospital expenses, burial and funeral costs, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of counsel and affection.
An attorney familiar with Louisiana workers’ compensation laws can review your claim and help you determine whether a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is in your interests.
Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations In New Orleans
Like workers’ compensation claims, you have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana. The statute of limitations, per CC Art. 3492, is typically one year from the date your injury occurred, but this time frame can vary depending on your situation.
A Louisiana injury attorney from Laborde Earls Injury Lawyers will be aware of your legal rights and statutory deadlines, so you do not compromise your case with missed deadlines.
Call For Your Free Consultation
If you want to learn more about how a New Orleans workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file a workers’ comp claim, appeal a denial, or pursue additional legal action, contact our team. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers offers complimentary consultations to injured workers, and we are ready to take your call.
There is no obligation to work with us after this initial case assessment, so you have nothing to lose. Contact us today.
Call or text (504) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form