Workers Compensation in Baton Rouge, LA
You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Louisiana state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Baton Rouge, LA workers’ compensation insurance, and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics In Baton Rouge, Louisiana?
Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals reported Louisiana’s rate of fatal workplace incidents was significantly higher than the national average. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of workplace fatalities. As well, the highest rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses occurred in local government utilities. In fact, the public sector rate was double the private sector rate. Public employees are the largest workforce segment in Baton Rouge, so this could drive up injury rates in the city.
How Does Workers Comp Work In Baton Rouge, Louisiana?
Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim.
According to the Louisiana Workers Commission, any employer with one or more employees must have workers’ compensation coverage. Consequently, every Baton Rouge employee must be covered on the first day of employment. Exemptions include domestic and real estate salespersons. Compensation includes medical care, indemnity wage payments, and vocational rehabilitation. The mental injury must be the result of a physical injury or extraordinary stress.
For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Baton Rouge, LA are critical for the purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Baton Rouge, LA healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
The first report of an on-the-job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received, and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
Generally, you should notify your employer within 30 days of the injury. Your employer then has 10 days to submit a First Report of Injury or Illness to their insurer. The insurer then submits it to the Commission. Of note, the statute of limitations for indemnity benefit claims is 1 year from the date of injury. For Baton Rouge residents, Louisiana Workforce Commission is conveniently located at 1001 N. 23rd Street, Baton Rouge.
Timeline and Other Information
Louisiana’s Workforce Commission stipulates the indemnity wage benefit paid is 66 ⅔% of the employee’s average weekly wage. The first payment becomes due on the 14th day after the employer has knowledge of the injury. Notably, no compensation is paid for the first 7 days after the injury occurs. However, this waiting period indemnity benefit is paid retroactively after the first two weeks of missed work have elapsed. Medical benefits typically come within 30 days after the insurer receives written notice.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.
Why You Should Hire a Baton Rouge, Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in others it may be more difficult. For example, your employer might ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Baton Rouge workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Baton Rouge, LA you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!