yIf you get hurt at work, a few things will flash through your mind. Will you need surgery? How long will you be out of work? And, how are you going to take care of your family? Workers comp lawyers in Baton Rouge have to answer these questions every day. A lot of people have no idea how workers’ comp claim works. They know that their employer will cover their medical care. And they believe they’ll get workers comp benefits. They just don’t know how or when this will happen.
Basically, all employees are entitled to workers compensation insurance. If you get injured on the job, you’ll probably receive medical treatment and replacement wages while you’re out of work. You’ll stay out of work until you’re ready to go back.
Your workers’ compensation attorneys will help make sure that you receive these benefits and that you’re not forced back to work until you’re healed.
How Do You Qualify For Workers Compensation Benefits?
Most people who get hurt at work are eligible for workers comp benefits. As long as your injuries are the result of a workplace accident, you should qualify. In Louisiana, in order to qualify for workers comp, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You were on the clock at the time of your injuries
- You got hurt while on the job
- You were operating within the scope of your employment
- You weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace injuries
- You report the accident to your manager or Human Resources
- You are treated by a company approved doctor
- You comply with all of your employer’s policies regarding work-related injuries
As long as you meet all of these criteria, your workers’ comp claim should be approved.
If your workers’ comp claim is approved, you’ll start receiving benefits within a week or two. If your claim is denied, it could take much longer.
How Much are Workers Comp Benefits in Louisiana?
Every state is a little different when it comes to how much workers comp benefits you’ll receive. In Louisiana, you should receive the following once your claim is approved:
- The first 7 days are not covered
- You’ll receive ⅔ of your normal weekly wages up to $657 per week
- If you return to work and earn less than 90% of your usual wages, you’ll continue to receive ⅔ of the difference between what you normally earn and what you’re currently earning
- These benefits will continue until you’re cleared to return to work
For example, if you normally make $500 per week, your weekly workers’ comp benefits will be roughly $333. You’ll receive these benefits until you’re ready to go back to work.
You’ll also receive medical treatment as long as you’re treated by a company approved doctor. If you choose to go to another doctor or don’t comply with your doctor’s treatment plan, your claim will probably be denied.
Keep in mind, you will only receive these benefits if your workers’ comp claim is approved. If it’s denied, it will take much longer. You may not receive benefits at all.
What If Your Workers’ Comp Claim is Denied?
Insurance companies don’t automatically approve all workers claims. Your claim could be denied. If this happens, you won’t start receiving your benefits until after the appeals process.
If your claim is denied, you need to take the following steps:
- Request a hearing before a worker’s comp judge – you must do this in writing
- File a Disputed Claim for Medical Benefits if your medical treatment has been denied as well
- The insurance company has 14 days to respond
- You’ll have the option of going to voluntary mediation to try to resolve your claim
- If mediation doesn’t resolve the dispute, you’ll attend a workers comp hearing
If your claim is denied at the hearing, you’re going to need to hire a workers comp attorney in Baton Rouge. He can help you file an appeal with the Circuit Court. He can also continue to try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
Contact a Workers Comp Attorney in Louisiana
If you get hurt at work, don’t wait for your claim to be denied to contact a workers comp attorney in Louisiana. Call right away so you have an experienced lawyer by your side throughout the entire process.
Your lawyer will help get your workers’ comp claim approved and make sure you get the medical care that you need. Call and schedule your initial consultation today. It’s absolutely free and you won’t pay a dime until you settle your case.