Workers Compensation Attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Workplace accidents are common in Louisiana and busy cities like Baton Rouge. Of course, not even the best workers comp lawyer can predict where the next workplace accident will take place. However statistics are high that, on almost a daily basis, a job related accident will take place, and someone will be asking referrals for the best lawyers for workers comp related injuries. If you have sustained an injury on the job, contact the ACCIDENT LAWYER IN LOUISIANA to speak to a workmen compensation lawyer for a FREE case evaluation. Call today at (225) 384-5699
It is important that their victims know their rights and fight for them. Even if it means turning against their own employer. A Baton Rouge workers comp attorney can help them. Unfortunately, few Baton Rouge workers are aware of their rights, so many accept their employers’ actions without even considering to seek legal assistance, worried that they would waste money for nothing or they may upset their employer and get fired. The best lawyers for workers compensation are familiar with workers concerns and needs, not to mention the ramifications of a job injury. Our Louisiana Injury Lawyers law firm provides each person a FREE case evaluations for job related injuries.
Our clients obtain the information they need and find out what their options are. This is done so the client makes the best decision for their cases. Here is what every worker in Louisiana should know about workers’ compensation.
Basic Facts Every Employee Should Know About Workers Comp
What is Workers Compensation and the Benefits It Offers
All employees in Louisiana who incur workplace injuries are entitled to certain benefits. Depending on the specifics of their injuries and on the skills of their workers comp lawyer, these benefits can include any or all of the following:
- Medical care for their injuries
- Indemnity wage benefits
- Access to vocational rehabilitation benefits
These benefits fall under the obligation of the employer. With few exceptions, Louisiana employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If they do, their insurer will be the one covering the mentioned benefits. If they do not, the employer is responsible for covering them. When they refuse, the employee has the right to request the assistance of a workers comp attorney.
Who Can Benefit from Workers Compensation and Under What Circumstances
Workers compensation covers most Louisiana employees. This includes minors, seasonal, or part-time personnel. Even some contractors and subcontractors performing mostly manual labor or pursuing their employer’s business, trade, or occupation. The only exceptions to the rule are:
- Domestic employees
- Real estate salespersons
- Uncompensated personnel of some non-profit organizations
- Public officials
- Volunteers in most fields.
Employers who do not acquire workers compensation from third parties need approval for self-insurance. Employees who suspect their employers do not carry workers’ compensation or whose employer advises them to purchase or pay for their own insurance policy should consider consulting a Baton Rouge workers’ comp attorney or report their employer to the Fraud & Compliance Division of the Office of Workers Compensation Administration.
Contact a Workers Compensation Attorney Before Your Deadline
First of all, employees have the obligation to report any work-related injuries to their employer. If their injuries are so severe that they prevent that, a work colleague, supervisor, relative, or workers comp lawyer can do it for them.
The deadline for employee reports is usually for 30 days. Those who fail to report their injury within 30 days will most likely lose their right to compensation. Employers have to report the injury to their insurer within ten days of receiving notification about it. For the report, they should use Form LWC-WC IA-1, namely the First Report of Injury or Illness.
In turn, the insurer should report the injury to the Office of Workers Compensation Administration. Employers and insurers who fail to report workplace injuries will be penalized for it. When the employer or their insurer refuses to report the injury, the employee or their workers comp attorney can do it.
A Worker Compensation Attorneys Services – When to Hire a Workers Comp Lawyer
If the injury disables the employee for a period of no more than two weeks, the employee should receive compensation after the first week. If their disability lasts more than two weeks, the compensation should cover the first week as well, and the employee should receive it after the first two weeks have passed.
Types of Injuries Covered by
Louisiana Workers Compensation in
Since there is no exhaustive list of injuries and affections that qualify for workers compensation in Baton Rouge, the best way to find out whether a particular injury or affection qualifies is to consult a local workman’s comp attorney.
As the latter may confirm, most physical and mental injuries arising from occupational diseases or workplace accidents qualify. However, in case of mental injuries, the applicant or their workers comp lawyer will have to prove that they are the result of a physical injury or sudden, unusual stress related to one’s employment.
Workers Compensation Calculation Principles
One way of assessing the value of the workers’ compensation benefits an employee can receive is to let a workers’ comp attorney calculate them. For those who wish to take matters into their own hands, knowing the basic principles may help.
An employee’s compensation rate will depend on their average weekly wage. Employees with permanent total disabilities, temporary partial disabilities, or temporary total disabilities will receive 66 and 2/3% of their average wages.
Those whose injuries are so severe that they prevent them from earning wager greater than 10% of the wages they used to earn before the accident should receive supplemental earning benefits representing 66 and 2/3% of the difference between their average wage when they incurred the injury and their average wage after the injury.
Workers’ compensation benefits are only payable for a period of up to 520 weeks. For those whose workplace injuries result in permanent partial disability, the compensation they receive depends on the type of disability or loss they incur.
For example, the permanent partial disability compensation for losing a thumb amounts to 66 and 2/3% the employee’s wages. This is over a period of 50 weeks. Employees who incur catastrophic injuries may qualify for a one-time payment of $50,000.
Attorney for Workers Comp can Help with Death Benefits
If an employee dies, their surviving heirs may recover burial expenses of up to $8,500, besides other compensation types. In order to make sure it happens and make the process as straightforward as possible, they too should consider working with a workers compensation lawyer.
Once they have recovered, Baton Rouge employees wishing to return to work may find their job already occupied, as Louisiana laws do not require employers to keep their jobs available. They do, however, prohibit retaliation, so employers cannot fire employees simply because the latter filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Unfortunately, not all employers and their insurers approve the employees’ workers’ compensation claim. That is why the outcome of cases depends on the experience and commitment of the workers comp attorney.
When to Hire a Workmans Comp Attorney
Employees whose compensation claims are denied have the right to file a Disputed Claim for Compensation. It is basically a proceeding of administrative law. Unfortunately, it can take half a year or even more. Those who wish to obtain faster results should always turn to a workers comp lawyer for help.
The latter will not only take all the necessary steps to protect their interests and obtain the benefits their client deserves, but they will know what to do in every situation, saving their client time, effort, and peace of mind.
A Workers Comp Lawyer can Request Medical Documentation for Your Case
While employees in other states have to choose their treating physician or specialist from a panel of doctors provided by their insurer, this does not happen in Louisiana. Employees have the right to see their doctor of choice in any medical field. The doctor they need treatment for their work-related injury.
Needless to say, the employers or the insurer will cover the costs of medical care. They will also cover any travel cost the employee may incur in order to treat their injury. However, non-emergency services whose costs exceed $750 are subject to the employer’s approval or that of their insurer.
When employees or the workman’s comp lawyers representing them submits an adequately supported request for treatment and do not receive the approval of the employer within five days, they can interpret the lack of response as a tacit denial. This gives them the right to submit the request to the medical director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration.
If the employer or their insurer assess that the documentation provided is insufficient or unclear, they can request additional clarifications from the employee’s healthcare provider using Form LWC-WC-1010A.
This will give the employee’s healthcare provider or the workers’ comp lawyer handling the case 10 days to answer the employer’s request and provide the necessary documentation or clarifications. If they fail to meet the ten days deadline, their lack of response will qualify as a tacit withdrawal of the treatment request.
Call the Workers Comp Lawyers ASAP if Your Employer Denies a Workers Comp Request
When the employer denies a request and the employee’s workers’ comp lawyer decides to request a review of the case by the OWCA Medical Director, they have to file Form LWC-WC 1009 within 15 days from receiving the employer’s denial or from the date when their lack of response qualifies as tacit denial.
The list of forms the parties may have to submit, or exchange is much more complex. Considering that the employee undergoes treatment during the period when these forms have to be filled in and submitted, and they could be in pain or under huge stress, working with a workers’ comp lawyer seems the most convenient alternative.
It is important to note that if the employer and the employee disagree on the necessary medical treatment and the Medical Director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration has a hard time discerning the truth, the latter has the right to request the claimant to undergo an independent medical examination. The employer or their insurer will be responsible for covering the cost of the examination.
Further Workers’ Compensation Rules and Stipulations
- Employers have 30 days from receiving notice of a work-related injury to start paying medical benefits to their employees. If the medical service provider does not use electronic billing solutions, the term can be extended to 60 days
- In order to recover their out-of-pocket expenses, employees or their workers’ comp lawyer have to provide the employer or insurer with an itemized expenses list and corresponding receipts and bills.
- Employees who encounter issues with their workers’ compensation claims should try to sort things out with their employer or their employer’s insurer before requesting a conference with a mediator from the Office of Workers’ Compensation.
- Usually, employees who have a knowledgeable and reputed workers compensation lawyer defending their interests have higher chances of receiving the benefits they deserve fast and without issues from their employer or the latter’s insurer.
- Workers’ compensation benefits are subject to strict application deadlines. Generally, the deadline for filing medical benefit claims is of one year from the date of the injury.
- An employee who has received medical and indemnity benefits has three years from the last medical benefits payment. Respectively, one year from the last indemnity benefits paid to assert a claim.
- For Supplemental Earnings Benefits, claims can be filed within three years from the last indemnity benefits payment. Occupational disease claims require filing within one year from diagnosis or acknowledgment.
- When it is in their best interest, the parties can negotiate and reach a settlement. Under the settlement, the employer will pay the employee a lump sum. This is done so the latter to give up all rights and demands.
If Your Position was Filled After a Job Injury a Workmans’ Comp Attorney Can Help
Although employers are not obliged to keep the employee’s job vacant, they cannot fire them either. Thus, when an employee wishes to return to work but the position is no longer vacant, and their qualifications do not allow them to occupy a position with a similar payment level, the employee or their workers’ comp accident lawyer can request the employer to provide or pay for vocational rehabilitation services.
There are many more stipulations and laws regulating workers’ compensation in Louisiana. The best way to understand laws applicable to a particular case is to consult a Baton Rouge workers comp attorney.
Depending on when they take the case, the latter’s services can bring about numerous benefits for the employee. Here is a brief overview of the most important benefits at stake.
The Benefits of Filing a Claim Through an Experienced Louisiana Workman Comp Lawyer
1. The Workers Compensation Injury Attorney Will Provide All the Information and Advice Their Client Needs
Most of the times, employees who incur injuries on the job are so worried about their future, into so much pain, and under so much pressure, that they have no idea what their rights are and how to go about protecting them.
A preliminary consultation with a workers compensation lawyer can help them obtain all the answers and information they need. The first consultation is free, so injured employees will not pay anything, no matter if they decide to hire legal services or they choose to take their chances on their own.
2. Help Meeting Deadlines and Fulfilling the Necessary Formalities
Caught up with their treatment and their recovery, many employees fail to meet the deadlines for reporting accidents, filing treatment requests, or claiming medical and indemnity benefits. Any delays can cost them serious money, so it is better to rely on a knowledgeable workman’s comp lawyer than to risk losing money.
The help of the workers comp lawyer is all the more valuable. Especially since obtaining the above-described benefits often involves filling in and filing tens of forms and supporting them with evidence. An experienced workers comp lawyer will know exactly what forms are necessary. They know when to file them in order to secure the desired outcome for their client.
3. Representation, Negotiations, and Settlements
Employees defending their interests on their own will almost always get into arguments with the employer over coverage. This will make it difficult, if not impossible for them to return to work once they have recovered. Moreover, being directly involved in the case, the employee will have a hard time evaluating settlement offers. The employee will not understand true value and negotiating better terms for them.
All these are part of the everyday routine for a workers compensation lawyer. The latter will use their knowledge and skills to maintain an amicable relationship with the employer. Additionally, negotiate the best settlement possible on behalf of their client. The latter will not only receive more money, but they will also be able to return to work when ready.
Why Hire an Injury Lawyer to Handle Your Workmens Comp Claim
When seeking the best workmans comp lawyer, all Louisiana Injury Lawyers should at least offer clients all the above benefits. That in addition to the benefit of having a workers comp lawyer. Louisiana Injury Lawyers provide Baton Rouge employees access to the information. Most important is advice they need for free, by offering free case evaluations.
He also accepts contingency payments, allowing his clients to receive the money they deserve first, and only later pay the fee for obtaining them. With Louisiana Injury Lawyers as your workers comp lawyer, Baton Rouge employees can save time, money, and effort, and they can obtain the benefits they are entitled to under Louisiana laws with minimum hassle.
You too can benefit from the experience and skills of Louisiana Job Injury Lawyers. Call the office now or use the online contact form to schedule a FREE consultation from an experienced workers comp attorney today! You will receive information, advice, and support with all workers’ compensation formalities. You will gain the peace of mind having a dedicated Baton Rouge workers comp lawyer defend your interests. All of this while you focus on your recovery.