What Should I Do If My Employer Has Offered Me Money to Keep My Injury Quiet?

A workers’ compensation system is in place in Louisiana to assist employees who get injuries on the job. Not all categories of workers have an entitlement to benefits but many are. If you are one of those workers, you should ensure you get what is due to you. Some employers refuse to report injuries to their workers’ compensation insurer. They may fear their premiums will increase. They may also fear that the authorities will find out about inadequate safety practices. None of this matters. Failing to file a report in Baton Rouge, LA is illegal. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you need a Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer. Let’s first look at the basics of workers’ comp.

Workers’ Comp in Louisiana: How It Works

Employers in Baton Rouge, LA must have workers’ compensation insurance unless exempted. Workers’ comp covers most full-time, part-time, seasonal and minor employees. Even some independent contractors and sub-contractors may be considered employees. However, domestic workers, real estate sales agents and some non-profit organization directors are exempted.

Eligible employees can receive compensation for both mental and physical injuries. These injuries may result from accidents or occupational diseases. Mental injuries must arise from a physical injury or sudden, extraordinary job-related stress. Any claim for benefits must be supported by solid evidence. The injury must be directly linked to the worker’s duties. Typically, it doesn’t matter whether the injury was the fault of the employer or the employee. However, there are exceptions. Deliberate attempts to injure yourself or others could exempt you from getting compensation. So too could intoxication or horseplay.

Eligible workers who suffer injuries on the job should seek medical attention. They should also report the injury to their employer as soon as possible. This is necessary to get the workers’ compensation process started. The employer must then report your injury to their insurer on the First Report of Injury or Illness form. This should be complete within ten days of finding out about your injury. This is necessary if the injury results in death or more than one week away from work. Reporting is necessary under Louisiana Revised Statutes 23:1306.

Benefits Under Workers’ Comp According to a Louisiana Workers’ Comp Lawyer

If you file for workers’ comp and your claim is successful, you are eligible for certain benefits. They depend on the nature and severity of your illness or injury. If you die due to your injuries, your next of kin may be eligible for death benefits.

Common entitlements for injured workers include medical treatment, payment of lost wages and vocational rehabilitation benefits.

Louisiana Revised Statutes 23:1221 set out the types of benefits which injured employees can receive. They include:

  • Temporary total disability benefits

    • These are for an employee who can no longer work. They total 66 2/3% of the employee’s usual wages and run for the period of disability.
  • Permanent total disability benefits

    • These are for workers who will never be able to work again. These benefits also total 66 2/3% of the employee’s usual wages and run during the period of disability.
  • Supplemental earnings benefits

    • These are paid when an injured employee is not able to earn at least 90% of their previous wages. They have an entitlement to 66 2/3% of the difference between their average monthly wages before and after injury.
  • Medical expenses

  • Permanent partial disability benefits

    • This benefit covers the loss of use or amputation of various body parts, permanent disfigurement and other loss of function. Compensation varies but should not exceed 66 2/3% of wages for a period, not more than one hundred weeks.

Why You May Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If your employer offers you money to keep quiet about your injury, you need a lawyer. Chances are, the employer will give you a one-off payment will not be sufficient. If you need ongoing treatment, your employer is unlikely to meet your long-term needs. When you accept money under the table, you will most likely sign over your rights to any further compensation. You will get money quickly but it will not benefit you in the long run.

Contact a Louisiana Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Baton Rouge Today!

An employer who offers you hush money is not acting within the law. Seek the services of a Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer without delay. Remember, there is a deadline by which the employer must file a First Report of Injury or Illness form. The employer may face a penalty if you don’t file the form. Workers’ comp lawyers in Baton Rouge know the law and they can fight for you. Don’t accept an unlawful payment from your employer if injured at work. Contact the experienced attorneys at Louisiana Injury Lawyers and get the compensation you deserve.