Employers are to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and it covers most employees starting on day one of their employment. The workers’ compensation process works after the injured employee first reports his injury to his direct supervisor or employer. It is important that the employee reports his workplace accident as soon as possible, as Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §23:1306 requires the employer to report the injury or death within a ten-day window. Depending upon the severity of his injury, the employee may receive emergency care. At some point, though, they will need to visit a medical provider chosen by the workers’ compensation insurer to access the injury. After ten days from the employee reporting to the employer of the injury and an absence from work for seven days, the employer must submit the report to the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA). Once you file the injury claim, and it is accepted by the insurer, the injured employee will begin receiving payments for a portion of his wages, medical bills, vocational therapy, and death benefits if the employee died from the injuries.
If you have questions or need help at any point during the workers’ compensation process, a lawyer may be able to help. They can help you file your claim to receive the benefits that you deserve in a reasonable timeframe. You may make a record of your injury report so that you cannot be later accused of not reporting your injury within the necessary timeframe.
There is a chance that your workers’ compensation claim will require more than simply filing your claim, and a lawyer can assist you with the various aspects of your claim.
Your Claim May Be Disputed
Even though the ideal outcome for your claim is a smooth resolution and issuing of fair benefits, this does not always occur. It is possible that your employer or their insurance company will dispute one or more aspects of your claim, in which case your claim could become more complicated.
Your lawyer will file certain forms once it becomes clear that your claim is in dispute. At this point, your case may enter the mediation process, as explained by RS §23:1310.3. In the case that your claim-related dispute is not resolved through the mediation process, a judge may make the final ruling on the validity of your claim or specific features of your claim in dispute.
Your lawyer can assist you with a claim regardless of whether a dispute arises.
A Lawyer Will Handle Your Claim to Completion
A workers’ compensation lawyer will understand how the process works and understands that every claim is completely unique. Your lawyer will be prepared for all possible paths that your claim may take and may not be surprised by disputes and other hurdles that may arise.
Some ways that your lawyer can assist you during the workers’ compensation process include:
- Handling your claim so that you can focus on recovering physically and psychologically from your injuries
- Representing you during any claim-related appearances that you must make
- Filing all paperwork required within deadlines
- Gathering evidence that your injury, treatment, and claim should entitle you to compensation
- Negotiating with your employer’s insurance company for a fair settlement
- Filing any necessary appeals
The Insurance Information Institute (III) notes that workers’ compensation policies accounted for more than $48 million in written premiums in 2019. Those premiums should result in coverage for you or your loved one in the case that you suffered injuries on the job, and a lawyer will fight to get you the coverage that you deserve.
Your Health Is of Most Concern
One of the primary benefits of hiring a lawyer is allowing you to focus your attention on recovering from your injuries. The sooner you recover, the more quickly you may be able to return to work.
An injury suffered on the job can compromise your health in numerous ways. The effects of a workplace injury may include:
- Severe physical pain
- Emotional and psychological trauma, which may include specific conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression
- Stress related to the financial toll of being out of work, as well as the cost of treatment for your injuries
- Lasting physical limitations
- Lasting cognitive impairment
Your lawyer will take these sorts of consequences into account as they seek compensation for your injuries.
Your Medical Costs and Lost Income Could Be Covered
The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) states that benefits provided by workers’ compensation generally cover:
- 66 2/3 percent of the lost wages of your average weekly salary
- 100 percent of necessary medical costs stemming from your workplace injury
Call Us Today
Even at full strength, you may have difficulty filing your workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner if you are not familiar with the process. If you are reduced physically or cognitively because of an on-the-job injury, then completing a workers’ compensation claim could become even more difficult.
A lawyer can handle your claim and fight for any benefit compensation that you deserve. Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation.