Wage Replacement in Louisiana
A few months without a check, or even a few weeks without a check, is financially devastating for most Louisiana households. Most families do not have the cash to pay a $400 emergency expense. So, wage replacement might be the most critical job injury benefit.
A New Orleans workers’ compensation attorney obtains no-fault benefits that replace lost wages in these situations. These wages are usually retroactive to the date the illness or injury first occurred. Therefore, families have the resources they need to stay afloat until the victim is able to return to work full-time.
Most job-related injuries and illnesses cause temporary disabilities. After they receive treatment, including both medical care and physical therapy, most injured victims are able to return to work. Until the doctor clears them, workers’ compensation usually pays two-thirds benefits, as outlined below.
A brief side note. Most Louisiana job injury victims may choose their own doctors. Therefore, the doctor only clears them when it’s in their bests interests to resume full-time work. That’s usually different from company doctors who, all too often, rush victims back to work.
If the temporary disability is total, workers’ compensation usually pays two-thirds of the average weekly wage for the duration of that situation.
The AWW is not limited to regular cash compensation. Irregular or non-cash compensation, like overtime and housing allowance, counts as well.
Furthermore, AWW calculation often requires more than a calendar and a calculator. Many workers receive periodic raises or performance bonuses based solely on hours worked. A prorated signing bonus is a good example. The AWW calculation must account for these future wage changes.
Many victims “graduate” from total to partial temporary disabilities. Once physical therapy is underway, many victims are able to work on a limited basis. In these situations, workers’ compensation usually pays two-thirds of the difference between the old and new salaries.
Much like temporary disabilities, permanent disabilities can be total or partial. Lump-sum payments are often available in both cases. The amount usually depends on the nature and extent of the disability.
The D-word is not just a medical term. Disability means different things in different contexts. For example, if a truck driver permanently loses an eye, that injury is probably permanently disabling, unless the truck driver is able to develop new skills and begin a new career from scratch. A similar injury would not have the same consequences for a writer.
Permanently disabled victims may not be bedridden or even housebound. However, their injuries prevent them from working. Partially disabled victims lose some function, such as range of motion in an injured shoulder.
Length of physical therapy is sometimes an issue in these situations. Let’s stay with the shoulder injury example. Frequently, after a few months or weeks of therapy, insurance companies try to pull the financial plug. If that happens, the victim must deal with permanent loss of use. Attorneys advocate for victims in these situations, so the money keeps flowing, they keep going to therapy, and their shoulders keep getting stronger.
Team Up with a Dedicated Attorney
Workers’ compensation replaces lost wages. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in New Orleans, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Mississippi and Louisiana.