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Workers' Compensation / Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Need help claiming workers’ comp benefits in Louisiana? It seems like it should be an easy process to pursue the medical and wage benefits you deserve under the law, but that’s not always the case.

Louisiana workers’ comp claims are frequently delayed or denied for reasons beyond the worker’s control. Now you’re hurt due to a workplace injury, yet unable to pay your medical bills or secure the earnings you enjoyed before you were hurt.

Act quickly to preserve access to the workers’ comp benefits you’re entitled to. Reach out to a qualified Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe as soon as possible.

Work Comp Benefit Details

Workers’ Comp Benefits Both Employers and Employees

Before Louisiana had workers’ comp rules were in place, employers often interfered with employees’ ability to seek proper medical care. The priority was on protecting the company, not the employee. But with modern workers’ comp rules in place, employers and employees are incentivized to work together to support good health and financial stability.

Today, Louisiana workers’ compensation laws bring significant benefits for employers and employees alike. Below are some of the biggest advantages.

Guaranteed Health and Earnings Payments

If an employee is injured on the job or develops a chronic occupational disease, they need help staying healthy and stable enough to continue working later. Workers’ comp helps them cover their basic needs during a period of recovery.

Workers’ comp in Louisiana typically covers:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages/earnings
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Funeral expenses, if applicable

No Need to Assign Blame

Here in Louisiana, workers’ compensation essentially functions as a type of no-fault insurance. It ends finger-pointing between the employer and employee because they work together to claim workers’ comp benefits. The employee doesn’t have to prove the employer did anything wrong to receive workers’ compensation, and the employer isn’t on the defensive. Everyone’s goal is to keep the employee healthy and prevent interruption to the business.

Keeps it Out of Court

Workers’ comp prevents employers from being sued over workplace injuries. Instead of focusing on a lawsuit, both parties can focus on the workers’ comp claim and help the employee recover enough to come back to work.

Yes, You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Louisiana

Louisiana has a good workers’ comp system, but that doesn’t mean it works flawlessly every time. It’s still difficult to navigate the complex paperwork and agencies involved. What happens if your claim is delayed or denied? Could your family survive without your income?

The truth is, the workers’ comp process in Louisiana isn’t always fair and equitable unless you fight for your rights. This is a challenging prospect for the average person.

Consider this: A nationwide review of workers’ comp claims by the National Institutes of Health found substantial subjectivity in the system that leads to inequities. People need legal assistance just to get the basic benefits the law allows.

Plus, you could fall victim to simple errors, like paperwork problems. Or what if your employer misses a critical deadline? Your lawyer can intervene to resolve these issues and finally get your benefits flowing.

Louisiana Workers’ Comp Benefits You Deserve

Nearly any occupational illness or injury can be covered by workers’ comp, even a minor injury, as long as it happened at work or was caused by work. To learn more about the basic benefits under workers’ comp laws, talk to your lawyer or read below.

Medical Expenses

Medical bills after a workplace injury can easily spiral out of control, but workers’ comp is designed to help you with these costs. In general, workers’ comp should pay for all costs that are reasonable and necessary to treat your injuries.

Your covered medical costs could include:

  • Hospital, doctor, and rehabilitation bills
  • At-home nursing services
  • Crutches and other medical supplies
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Reimbursement for travel mileage to doctor’s appointments

Wage Replacement

Wondering whether workers’ comp provides 100% wage replacement? Unfortunately, no. Usually, the maximum you can claim is a portion of your usual wages, subject to certain limits.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

In Louisiana, these workers’ comp disability benefits are paid when you are completely unable to work, but your disability is not expected to be permanent. It’s usually two-thirds of your average weekly wages.

Supplemental Earnings Benefits  (SEB)

Supplemental earnings benefits apply when you can return to work but your doctor has placed restrictions on your work to preserve your health and recovery.

You may be put on light-duty work, modified-duty work, or experience a period of work hardening that helps you work your way back up to full duties. Below is a more detailed description of each.

  • Light duty includes working in a job that’s less physically demanding until your physical restrictions are lifted. You might also have a lighter schedule, temporarily.
  • Modified duty allows you to return to the same job as before, but it’s been modified to make it safer. This may include ergonomic options that preserve your health.
  • Work hardening helps you slowly work up to doing your full job and full schedule over time.

When you can only reasonably work part-time or at a different duty that would bring 90% of your pre-injury wage rate you may be entitled to supplemental earning benefits. For up to 520 weeks, these benefits provide extra wages.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

PPD is a type of wage replacement that’s only paid after you have reached maximum medical improvement. It means you have a disability that your doctor considers permanent, but you are not totally disabled.

Talk to your lawyer about the proper application of PPD benefits, which should value the loss of specific body parts, serious disfigurement, hearing loss, and other serious impairments to your body’s systems.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

PTD applies when a workplace injury is so severe that you are unable to work and need two-thirds of your average weekly salary to survive. A doctor will be involved in evaluating the severity of your injury for PTD.

Catastrophic Injury Benefits

Do you have catastrophic injuries that prevent living and working as before? Louisiana also allows for catastrophic injury benefits. If eligible, you may receive a lump sum of up to $50,000 for certain applicable catastrophic injuries. These injuries typically include:

  • Paraplegia and quadriplegia
  • Amputations of the hands, feet, arms, and legs
  • Physical loss of the eyes and eyesight
  • Severe third-degree burns that cover more than 40% of the body

Vocational Benefits

What about the loss of your vocational ability and your need for retraining? A workplace injury doesn’t have to be a career-ending situation, but you might need extra training that helps you move forward with your life. You may be entitled to vocational services for a period under your workers’ compensation.

Death Benefits

Death benefits are also a part of workers’ comp in Louisiana. If a workplace death occurs within two years of the last treatment as the result of any job-related accident, the surviving spouse and/or dependents may be entitled to weekly indemnity benefits under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act.

Claiming Louisiana Workers’ Comp Benefits

As you can see, workers’ compensation has many intricacies and details to understand. Having a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side comes as a relief during this challenging time in your life.

For help with a Louisiana workers’ compensation claim or denial, please contact the workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC for a free consultation by calling 504-302-4131.

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