Louisiana First Responder Injury Lawyer
Despite fierce opposition from some, many states, including Louisiana, have significantly expanded workers’ compensation benefits for emergency responders in recent years. These expansions often apply to occupational diseases, such as cancer, linked to toxic smoke at fires. Lawmakers have also extended benefits to emergency responders who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other emotional injuries. So, if you or a loved one was denied earlier because workers’ compensation didn’t apply, now is an excellent time to try again.
For the diligent Louisiana first responder injury lawyer at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, staying abreast of legal changes is just one part of the job. Frequently, we are on the cutting edge of such changes. We advocate for victims not only in the courthouse, but also in the statehouse. We push for favorable laws and urge lawmakers to modify unfavorable ones. Our attorneys often serve as expert witnesses during legislative hearings in Baton Rouge. Favorable laws make it easier for us to fight for victims, which is what we do best.
The medical expenses in a catastrophic injury claim often exceed $100,000. Since most families live paycheck to paycheck, they cannot possibly afford to pay these bills out of pocket, even if insurance pays part of the balance.
So, the medical bill payment benefit is very important in a Louisiana workers’ compensation case. This benefit usually applies to:
- Transportation Expenses: Much of Louisiana is quite rural, to say the least. Therefore, specialized medevac helicopters often transport seriously-injured victims to large medical facilities. A short helicopter ride could cost more than $40,000.
- Emergency Care: ER treatment is usually just the beginning. Frequently, ER doctors cannot do much more than stabilize victims. These victims often require multiple surgeries, not to mention multiple follow-up medical appointments and perhaps additional procedures.
- Recovery Expenses: Workers’ compensation pays for all necessary physical or occupational therapy sessions. These benefits also cover other ancillary costs, such as medical devices and prescription drugs.
Most Louisiana job injury victims may choose their own doctors. That’s an important right which job injury victims in many other states do not have.
Injured victims and their families not only need help paying medical bills. They also need help paying recurring bills. Usually, the job injury victim is the family’s primary breadwinner, or only breadwinner. Therefore, these victims are entitled to lost wage replacement. The amount usually depends on the nature and extent of the work-related disability:
- Permanent Total Disability: If the victim’s job injuries are so severe that the victim cannot work again, workers’ compensation benefits usually include a large lump-sum payment. The same thing is generally true in fatal workplace injury claims.
- Permanent Partial Disability: Lower lump-sum payments are available if the victim’s injuries are lingering but not disabling. For example, if Mike falls at work and badly breaks his shoulder, he’ll probably never regain complete range of motion in that joint.
- Temporary Total Disability: Victims who cannot work until their injuries heal are usually entitled to two-thirds of their AWW (average weekly wage) for the duration of these temporary disabilities. A waiting period may apply.
- Temporary Partial Disability: Frequently, victims recover enough to return to work part-time, but not full-time. These individuals usually receive two-thirds of the difference between their old and new wages.
The AWW, which is the key to the amount of disability benefits, isn’t always easy to determine. In addition to prior regular cash payments, the AWW also includes future, irregular, or non-cash payments. Examples include missed performance bonuses, overtime opportunities, per diem, and scheduled pay increases.
Reach Out to a Compassionate Lafayette Parish Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Louisiana first responder injury lawyer, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, LLC. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.