There are several steps you can take that might help you to maximize your workers’ compensation settlement. These steps include meeting eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation, which may involve:
- Reporting your work-related injury or illness through the proper channels
- Promptly seeking medical care for your injury or illness
- Documenting your initial doctor’s visit and any follow-up visits you attend
- Keeping other records of your injuries, which may include photographs and videos
- Calling law firm that works on workers’ compensation claims
A lawyer may take over your claim, providing advice about maximizing the settlement that is specific to you.
Your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Lead Your Claim
You may hire a lawyer to help you with your workers’ compensation claim and any eventual settlement that you reach. A workers’ compensation lawyer may work for a contingency fee. The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that this kind of arrangement means that:
- Your lawyer will not receive compensation for their services unless they secure a positive outcome for you
- You will not have to pay your lawyer any attorney’s fees upfront
- You will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for your lawyer’s services, as they may only take a cut of any benefits or settlement award you receive
The Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §23:1141 limits the fee for an attorney assisting with a workers’ compensation claim to no more than 20 percent of your settlement or benefits. You and your lawyer will agree to a predetermined contingency fee before they begin assisting you with your workers’ compensation claim.
Getting Advice After Your Injury or Illness Occurs
You may file a workers’ compensation claim for the following circumstances:
- You suffered an injury while working in some capacity
- You developed an illness that stems from conditions at your job or former job
While an injury may be apparent as soon as it occurs or shortly thereafter, an illness may not emerge until days, weeks, months, or years after you encounter the illness-causing conditions. In either case, it may be in your interest to report the presence of an injury or illness as soon as you become aware of it.
A lawyer may help you maximize your workers’ compensation settlement by ensuring that you abide by all deadlines. Your lawyer may also encourage you to follow the appropriate blueprint for reporting your injury or illness, receiving medical care, documenting your injuries and care, and filing your claim.
The attorney that you hire may be familiar with relevant statutes, such as the RS §23:1121, which requires you to be evaluated by a doctor chosen and paid for you by your employer or the insurance company that issues their workers’ compensation policy. Your lawyer may manage your case so that you do not harm your chances of receiving workers’ compensation benefits through your own actions. They may also protect your rights from anyone who attempts to violate them.
Completing a Workers’ Compensation Claim May Not Be Simple
You may hire a lawyer to take care of any problems that might arise during the workers’ compensation claim process. A lawyer may handle your claim in its entirety, which can include filing your claim and negotiating a settlement on your behalf.
It is possible that your employer or their insurance company might claim that your injury or illness should not be covered by workers’ compensation. They may cite one of the disqualifying reasons, as explained by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), which include:
- Being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the injury
- Being engaged in horseplay
- Initiating a physical confrontation that resulted in your injury
- Being involved in some type of non-work activity that led to your injury
If you are filing a claim on an illness, your employer or their insurance company might dispute your claim by saying that your illness was not the definitive result of workplace conditions.
In response to allegations that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation, your lawyer may:
- Cite evidence that shows your injury or illness is work-related
- Provide witness accounts that support your claim
- Make legal arguments that support your claim
- Cite doctor’s opinions that explain the cause of your injury or illness
You may be entitled to workers’ compensation as an injured or ill employee, but this does not mean that you will be automatically granted compensation. Your lawyer may fight for your right to workers’ compensation and negotiate a settlement on your behalf if it is appropriate.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to Help You Negotiate a Settlement
If you would like legal assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, consider hiring a lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers. Call today at (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation with one of our team members.