A construction worker who received workers' compensation with the assistance of a workers' compensation law firm

Injured on the Job?

Our Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Are Here to Explain Your Options

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Learn About Workers' Compensation From a Workers' Compensation Law Firm

Utility worker working on powerlinesYou’ve likely heard the term “workers’ compensation” but many people don’t understand what this program is or how to receive benefits until they need it.

For this reason, our workers’ compensation law firm, The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux, has outlined essential information about workers’ compensation that you need to know.

Workers’ Compensation Defined

Suffering an injury or illness as a result of your job can be incredibly devastating to your health, career, finances, and mental state. A state-mandated insurance program, the Louisiana workers’ compensation system is designed to provide financial benefits for some of your losses.

These benefits are often paid by a private insurance company. Most employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance to cover their employees in the event of an accident.

Do You Qualify for Workers’ Comp?

If you’re wondering if you qualify for workers’ comp benefits, there are typically four eligibility requirements you must meet:

  • You’re an employee.
  • Your employer carries workers’ comp insurance.
  • Your injury or illness is work related.
  • You met your state’s deadlines for reporting your injury and filing a claim.

While these are the basic requirements for coverage, there are some exceptions and gray areas. Our workers’ compensation law firm can review your claim and determine if you’re entitled to benefits.

Most employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance to cover their employees in the event of an accident.

Workers’ Comp Law Firms Break Down Workers’ Comp Benefits

If you’re eligible for workers’ comp benefits, you may be wondering what you can receive. Below, our work comp law firm outlines the main types of benefits to which you may be entitled under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. It’s advisable to seek guidance from experienced workers’ comp law firms to navigate these complexities effectively.

Medical Care

Workers’ comp covers all approved hospital and other medical expenses that are required to diagnose and treat your work-related injury or illness. This can include doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medications, and more.

You have the right to choose one doctor in each specialty field of treatment required for your job-related injury/illness. If you encounter difficulties, consult with an experienced workers’ comp law firm to help assert your rights.

Disability Benefits

According to a workers’ compensation law firm in Lafayette, If your injury or illness makes it impossible to work, workers’ comp may also provide disability payments to help supplement some of your lost wages during your recovery. Disability benefits are separated into four categories, depending on the severity of your condition:

  • Temporary Total Disability – These benefits may be available if your injury/illness prevents you from working while you recover. In Louisiana, temporary total disability benefits are paid to workers who have to miss more than seven days from work due to their injury/illness. These benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wages and stop once you’re able to return to work or it’s decided that you have reached maximum medical improvement.
  • Supplemental Earnings Benefits – If you’re able to return to work but your injuries cause you to earn less than 90 percent of your normal wages, you may be entitled to Supplemental Earnings Benefits (SEB). These benefits provide two-thirds of the difference between your normal wages and the amount you’re capable of earning now. You can receive this benefit type for no more than 520 weeks.
  • Permanent Total Disability – After treatment, your doctor will determine whether you have a permanent disability. If your condition is found to be permanently and totally disabling, you can receive weekly payments for the duration of your disability. To qualify for these benefits in Louisiana, you must be unable to perform any type of gainful employment.
  • Permanent Partial Disability – This type of benefits may be available if you’ve suffered some permanent damage from a workplace injury/illness that partially hinders your abilities in the workplace. For example, Louisiana compensates workers for amputation or the physical loss of certain body parts. You can receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages for a period of time determined by the state schedule. Louisiana workers may also be able to receive a one-time award of $50,000 for catastrophic injuries, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Death Benefits

A workers’ spouse, children, or other financial dependents may be able to receive weekly death benefits if their loved one passed away as a result of a work-related injury or illness.

If you have more questions about your eligibility for worker’s compensation benefits, please don’t hesitate to contact our workers’ comp law firm, The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux.

Filing workers comp claim. Louisiana's procedure for filing a workers comp claim. Report your injury or illness, employer files a "first report of injury or illness" form, Investigation of your claim.

Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim

Welder wearing protective maskBefore receiving these important benefits, the advice from work comp law firms is to strictly follow Louisiana’s procedures below for filing a workers’ comp claim:

Report Your Injury or Illness

The first step is to report your injury or occupational illness to your employer. While you have up to 30 days to do so, it’s important to notify your employer as soon as possible. Any delays can cause your employer or its insurance company to question the validity of your claim. Consulting a workers’ compensation law firm can also be beneficial during this process.

Your Employer Files a “First Report of Injury or Illness” Form

Within 10 days of your employer’s knowledge of your injury/illness, it’s their legal responsibility to complete a form known as the “First Report of Injury or Illness” and file it with their insurer. The insurer should then submit the form to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. 

Investigation of Your Claim

After receiving the appropriate form, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier will likely conduct an investigation to decide whether to approve or deny your claim. Typically, the insurer should inform you of its decision within two to four weeks.

If your claim is approved, you should start receiving your benefits. If your claim is denied, don’t lose hope. You may still be able to receive benefits through the appeals process. However, appealing a denied claim is complex and involves many strict deadlines. At this stage, it’s important to speak with knowledgeable work comp law firms that are familiar with the Louisiana workers’ compensation system.

How Can You Get Help From a Workers’ Compensation Law Firm?

If, for any reason, your employer or the insurance company claims you aren’t eligible for benefits, please contact our workers’ compensation law firm, The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux.

Employers and insurance companies regularly deny workers with valid claims in order to escape liability and pay as little as possible.

Our legal team is one of the most experienced workers’ comp law firms in Louisiana, dedicated to fighting hard to help injured workers get the compensation they deserve. You should never have to worry about how you’re going to pay your medical bills and support your family when you are just doing your job. After a workplace injury or illness, you have rights. Let us help you uphold those rights.

Call us today to speak with an attorney from our workers’ compensation attorney group at (337) 221-4299, or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.

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