The vast majority of employees – including full-time, part-time and seasonal workers — in Louisiana are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits in the event they are injured on the job. Depending on the circumstances, some independent contractors may also be covered by their employer’s worker’s comp plan. The purpose of these benefits is to provide financial relief for employees who are hurt on the job, or those who develop some sort of occupational disease. In Louisiana, worker’s compensation can include medical expenses related to the injury, vocational rehabilitation services, wage benefits, and/or death benefits.
Worker’s comp in Louisiana
Workman’s compensation is paid directly to the employee by the workers’ compensation insurer or from the employer. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the benefits are intended to encompass both physical and mental injuries from accidents or work-related diseases arising from repeated exposure to certain tasks and risk factors. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, lead poisoning, or lung disease. It’s worth noting that the coverage does have some parameters that limit recovery.
In order to recover compensation for a “mental injury,” there must be compelling evidence that it stemmed from some sort of physical trauma or extraordinary stress related to the worker’s employment. Also, benefits may be denied in accidents where the employee was intoxicated at the time of the incident, or had a willful intent to injure him or herself.
30 days to report your workplace accident
If you have a serious accident at work that results in any kind of injury, you have just 30 days to report the accident to your employer. Even though you have one month to tell your employer, it’s in your best interest to report the injury immediately, so that the Louisiana Workforce Commission can process your workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible.
After you’ve reported your injury to your employer’s insurer, Temporary Disability Benefits are typically paid within two weeks.
How long can I get Workers Compensation?
In most cases, you can continue getting these Temporary Disability benefits (paid weekly) until your health care provider reports that you’ve attained maximum medical improvement, at which time your injury is not expected to improve any more. If you are able to resume some part-time or “light duty” work, but are paid less than 90 percent of your ordinary salary, you may be entitled to receive extra worker’s comp benefits for a maximum period of 520 weeks. These benefits are equivalent to two-thirds of the difference in your average weekly income.
In the event that your injury leads to permanent disability, rendering you unable to resume your old job or earn income in a similar job, you will be entitled to permanent disability benefits (two-thirds of your normal weekly wages). The length of time you’re able to get these benefits will hinge on the disability rating given by your physician and the state schedule on your disability benefits.
Depending on the circumstances, injured workers may also be eligible for a lump-sum payment (for a catastrophic injury) as well as on-going worker’s comp benefits.
Consult with a Louisiana attorney
After any type of workplace injury in Louisiana, it’s always wise to consult with an attorney regarding your legal rights. As a highly experienced worker’s compensation lawyer in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Bart Bernard has a thorough understanding of state laws, mediation rights as well as problems that can undermine the claims process. His goal is to help clients obtain maximum benefits available for their injuries, pain and suffering.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case review with Bart Bernard by calling today.
Additional Worker’s Compensation Resources:
- Louisiana Workforce Commission, Employees and Employers about Rights and Responsibilities in Workers’ Compensation http://www.laworks.net/FAQs/FAQ_WorkComp_RightsAndResponsibilities.asp
- Justia, 2006 Louisiana Laws – Title 23 – Labor and worker’s compensation http://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2006/7/7.html