If you work for a company in Louisiana, there’s a good chance you’re covered by Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance. Nearly all businesses in Louisiana are required to carry coverage, but you may have questions about Louisiana workers’ compensation benefits.
This handy guide will explain everything you need to know about workers’ compensation in Louisiana including how much you are entitled to; what to do if your claim is denied and how to hire a Louisiana workers compensation attorney.
What is Louisiana Workers’ Compensation?
Just like other types of insurance you’re familiar with, workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that employers must have to protect their workers. The coverage is mandatory for the vast majority of Louisiana businesses and out-of-state companies that do business in the state.
Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance provides injured workers with proper medical care, weekly benefits, rehabilitation opportunities and other items for workers who are hurt while at work and performing work related duties.
The majority of Louisiana workers’ compensation claims are due to accidents, slip and fall situations and lifting injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance is there to protect workers after a work related injury and ensures they have access to adequate assistance.
Louisiana workers’ compensation also protects businesses in and doing business in the state from civil suits deriving from workplace accidents.
Which Employees Are Covered by Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Laws?
The majority of workers in Louisiana are covered from the very first day they begin their employment. You can be part-time, full-time, salaried, seasonal worker and even children are covered under the Louisiana workers’ compensation act.
Independent contractors and even subcontractors are often covered due to their involvement in the employer’s business. Many independent contracts are misclassified and may be covered.
Who’s excluded? Domestic workers, public officials, uncompensated officers of some non-profit organizations and the majority of real estate salespeople.
What Does Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance protects employees hurt at work as well as a wide range of illnesses that are related to workplace issues. The injured worker has access to benefits such as:
- Payments for lost wages due to the injury or illness
- Compensation for medical procedures, treatments, surgeries and other medical issues
- Funding for ongoing care, physical therapy and other continuous treatments
- Disability payments if the worker sustained a permanent injury
- Continued insurance and access to benefits
- Death benefits in the event the worker dies from the injury or illness
- Funeral expenses
Louisiana workers’ compensation coverage is a lifesaver for employees who have been injured while on the job or performing work related activities. It gives workers monetary benefits, access to medical treatment and more.
Does My Injury Have to Happen at Work to be covered by Workers’ Compensation?
No, your injury does not have to happen at work for you to be covered. You’re covered if your injury occurred due to your work or while working for your employer. Injuries happen while traveling for work all the time and they are covered by workers’ compensation in Louisiana. Running errands for your boss also counts because you were instructed to do something for your employer. Work-from-home jobs in Louisiana may also count for workers’ compensation, but you should consult with an attorney.
Are All Injuries that Happen at Work Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Not all injuries that happen at work are covered by Louisiana workers’ compensation. There are a few subsets of injuries that are not covered. For example, injuries that happen due to you being drunk or using drugs may not be covered for obvious reasons. Workers’ compensation may also deny claims for injuries that were caused while you were committing a crime while at work or causing a fight. You may want to speak with a hurt at work attorney to see if your claim will be covered.
What if My Injury is Long-Term?
A large number of workplace injuries come from repetitive stress injuries from doing the same tasks over and over. You would be surprised to learn that even sitting at a desk typing for 8 hours a day can cause long-term injury. Louisiana workers’ compensation often pays for injuries that aren’t caused by a sudden injury, but from work related tasks that compound injuries over a long period of time. Another example is chronic back problems that arise from work even though it may result from years of stress.
Are Work Related Illnesses Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
There’s a great chance they are. Many workers receive workers’ compensation for work related illnesses that you may have developed due to work. There are a special set of rules for occupational diseases, so it is always advised to speak with a hurt at work attorney in your area to see if you qualify.
Does Workers’ Compensation Pay Disability?
Workers’ compensation in Louisiana pays your medical expenses from your work related injury or illness, but you may be wondering if it pays more than just your medical bills. Louisiana workers’ compensation pays injured workers temporary disability while they are recovering from their injury and unable to work. You may qualify for services such as rehab, training and more depending on the severity of your injury and the type of work you do.
Can I Sue for Personal Injury if I’ve Been Injured at Work?
If you’ve been injured at work due to no fault of your own, you’re probably wondering if you can sue your employer in court. A personal injury claim would allow you to sue for pain and suffering plus mental anguish. However, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to bring a personal injury claim against your employer when you’ve been injured at work. There are extremely limited situations where you will be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer such as an employer intentionally injuring you or if they fail to carry workers’ comp insurance.
How Do I File a Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It’s fairly easy to file a workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana. If you’ve been injured on the job, you must notify your employer immediately. You don’t want to wait too long to file your claim. Your employer will provide you with Louisiana workers’ compensation forms that are required to start your claim.
You must fill out the proper form and give them back to your employer. They will offer guidance through your claim and your employer will have your claim filed. The workers’ compensation insurance provider will then send you their ruling.
Is There a Waiting Period for Workers’ Compensation?
If you’re concerned about when you will get your first compensation check following an injury, there are guidelines your employer must follow. Your first benefit should be paid to you on the 14th day after your employer has been put on notice that you have been injured and experienced lost income.
However, there is a 7-day waiting period in which you will not get a compensation check. In the event you miss more than 14 work days in a row, you will get a compensation check for the waiting period. Louisiana workers’ compensation settlements may take longer.
How Do I Receive Payments?
A worker may be entitled to weekly or monthly indemnity benefits if they were hurt at work, the injury was a covered injury and the worker wasn’t able to return to work for more than 7 calendar days due to the injury.
Keep in mind, there is a “waiting period” where no payments will be paid the first week after your injury. However, you should receive payment for this time period once the first two weeks have passed.
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations
Louisiana workers’ compensation claims must be filed within one year from the date of your injury, or within one year from the date you were diagnosed with a disability. Remember, you could lose your benefits if you fail to file in time. You may want to consult with an attorney in regards to time limits for filing a claim.
Where Are Workers’ Compensation Offices Located?
You can find offices and contact information HERE.
What If I Have a Problem with My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you encounter an issue at any point during the process, it’s advisable that you immediately contact your employer or the company’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. If the issue cannot be resolved by the parties, you have the right to a mediation conference. The Office of Workers’ Compensation will provide a mediator who is also a licensed attorney who specializes in mediations and Louisiana workers’ compensation laws.
It’s not required that you hire a Louisiana hurt at work lawyer at this point, but you absolutely can if you feel they can help you with your benefits.
How Much Does a Louisiana “Hurt at Work” Lawyer Cost?
Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys can charge up to 20% of the amount of benefits they recover for you. Many attorneys will not take a percentage of your weekly benefits, but will require payment if a lump sum settlement is negotiated.
What Happens if I’m Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Don’t panic. Denials happen regularly with insurance companies. You have the option to appeal and file a Disputed Claim for Compensation. This process can take a number of months and you may want to seek the guidance of a Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer to help you through the process. While you do not have to hire an attorney, they can be beneficial in explaining the proper course of action.
What is a Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Lump Sum Settlement?
Lump sum settlements are when your employer and insurance company come to an agreement to pay you the entire value of your claim in one lump sum amount. The employer will then have no future payments or obligations to the injured employee. Many injured workers choose to accept a lump sum settlement to end their claim and move on with their lives.
A “hurt at work lawyer” can help you negotiate a higher lump sum settlement as they know what your case is worth and will fight to get you more money. You will want to maximize the amount of your settlement as your employer will no longer be obligated to pay more.
Can My Boss Fire Me Because I Filed a Claim?
No. Your employer is not able to fire you simply because you filed a Louisiana workers’ compensation claim per Louisiana workers’ compensation laws. This is true even if you negotiated for a lump sum settlement. Keep in mind, your employer will not be forced to keep your job available for you when you are finally able to return to work.
What if I Can’t Do My Old Job Due to Injury?
Your employer has the option to perform a job study alongside the insurance company to find a reasonable job duty for you and see what types of jobs are available to you in your area.
Should I Get a Lawyer If I Got Hurt at Work?
This is the number 1 question injured workers ask and it’s a great question. Think of it like this, you’ve been injured and may not be able to return back to your old job. You may receive a small weekly benefit while injured or a one-time Louisiana workers’ compensation lump sum settlement.
You don’t know how much money you will receive or if you will be able to do your old job as good as you did before your injury. A “hurt at work” lawyer can maximize the amount you can receive from your claim. Louisiana hurt at work lawyers specialize in these types of claims and will be able to guide you through the process.
Remember, your livelihood is at stake when you get injured at work, don’t leave it to chance. It’s recommended that you at least speak to an attorney to see what they can do for you.
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Phone Numbers and Locations
Monroe, LA 71201
Shreveport, LA 71106
|2 Alexandria||3724 Government Street|
Alexandria, LA 71302
|3 Lake Charles||120 W. Pujo Street|
Lake Charles, LA 70601
|4 Lafayette||556 Jefferson Street, First Floor|
Lafayette, LA 70501
|5 Baton Rouge||224 Florida Blvd.|
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
|6 Covington||112 Innwood Drive|
Covington, LA 70433
|7 Harahan||880 West Commerce Rd.|
Harahan, LA 70058
|8 New Orleans||Amoco Building, 1340 Poydras Street|
New Orleans, LA 70112
Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. You must speak with an attorney. No blog, article or post should be used as legal advice.
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