Workers Compensation in Louisiana
You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. 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 Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Louisiana?
Overexertion, falling from heights, and slip and falls are the most common forms of workplace injuries in Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Health tracks these statistics, along with employee health and wellness throughout the state. Louisiana workers’ compensation programs aim to handle your injury or illness in one of three ways,
1) By returning you back to your job as soon as you’re medically cleared.
2) Returning you to a modified form of your job depending on the severity of the illness or impairment.
3) By helping you with a new vocation training should you be unable to return to your job.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Louisiana?
There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Louisiana workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is carried by all public and private sector employers in Louisiana. As mandated by The Louisiana Department of Insurance. If you have been injured or contracted a work-related illness, you may be entitled to coverage of medical costs. As well as benefits to supplement lost wages for temporary disability and partial or total permanent disability. Louisiana does cover mental and emotional injuries as they must result from a severe trauma encountered at work or the work environment.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Louisiana are critical for 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 receiving help from a Louisiana healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.
Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.
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. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is 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
Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Louisiana workers comp works.
The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corps states that if no medical benefits have been received, a claimant has 1 year from the date of the injury or illness to file a worker’s compensation claim in Louisiana. But, if you have received medical benefits, you have 3 years from the date of the last payment or medical benefit received. If you have been injured, or are noticing symptoms it is always wise to seek medical attention and report the injury or illness to your employer. If a dispute arises, it’s always best to try and settle it without filing a petition. However, if you do not feel a resolution can be reached, you can contact an attorney to help you file a petition.
Contents of the Report
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 submit a copy of the doctor’s report with the report of injury.
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.
Louisiana does not allow for temporary disability benefits if you are able to return to work However, you can receive supplemental earnings benefits if your injury prevents you from earning 90% of your previous wages. These benefits entitle you to two-thirds of the difference between what you previously earned and what you’re earning now. You can receive these benefits for a maximum of 520 weeks.
Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In learning how Louisiana workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Louisiana
Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky. You should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Louisiana state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!