Workers Compensation in New Orleans, 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 New Orleans, Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in New Orleans, Louisiana?
Louisiana has the lowest number of non-fatal work-related injuries among all 50 states, according to New Orleans City Business. However, work-related incidents still occur. Sprains and strains of the lower extremities due to contact with heavy objects are a frequent source of injury in New Orleans. Slip and fall incidents are the leading cause of missed work in New Orleans.
How Does Workers Comp Work in New Orleans, 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.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission states that all employers, even those with only 1 employee, must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This extends to full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees. Railroad employees, private residence employees, and certain musicians and performers are exempt from this law. Benefits in New Orleans range from medical care, disability wages, mileage reimbursement, death benefits, and burial expenses. Mental health is also covered, but only if it connects to a work injury or traumatic event.
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 New Orleans, 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 seeking help from a New Orleans, 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. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured 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. All 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.
The Chief Administrative Office of New Orleans instructs you to alert your employer immediately if you have suffered a work-related injury. This is your first responsibility. It will also help should any disputes arise at a later date surrounding your location at the time of your injury. After you have notified your employer, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Seeking medical care early cuts down on costs and recovery time. After you’ve been seen by a physician, it’s prudent and appropriate to ask for 2 copies of the physician’s report. Keep 1 copy for yourself, and give one copy to your employer.
Timeline and Other Information
In New Orleans, your employer is required by law to file your injury report with the insurance carrier no less than 10 days from you filing. There is a temporary waiting period of 7 days before you receive your first check. However, if your disability lingers past 42 days, you can be reimbursed for this initial 7-day period. Temporary Total Disability is capped at a monthly maximum of $705.
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. Typically about the incident and to 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 New Orleans, Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in New Orleans, Louisiana, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you were hurt on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a New Orleans, Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In New Orleans, Louisiana
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in New Orleans, Louisiana 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!