Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Louisiana
The risk of work injuries is present in every job environment and industry. However, in Louisiana, the most dangerous industries in terms of workplace fatalities involve the fields of construction, oil and gas, and maritime. The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report recorded 103 fatal occupational injuries in Louisiana.
Even in occupations where there are no outright or immediate dangers, workers can still be exposed to illnesses and injuries in the workplace. Whether the nature of your injury is related to a construction accident, a workplace illness, or a work-related slip and fall, you may be entitled to claim worker’s compensation. An experienced Louisiana worker’s compensation attorney can help you understand if you qualify, as well as file a claim.
At Broussard + Williamson, we know that sustaining a workplace injury can leave you and your family in a bad financial position. Having the reduced capacity to work and earn your own income can also cause significant stress. In many situations, medical bills will begin to pile up.
Fortunately, Louisiana law allows workers to claim benefits for injuries and illnesses they acquire while on the job. Our team of experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys has helped many workers and their families get benefits afforded to them by the law.
We may be able to help you file a worker’s compensation claim. Give us a call today at (866) 281-4774 to learn more about how we can help you. Our skilled Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys are available for a complimentary consultation. We are here to help.
The Importance of Having an Experienced Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Getting injured can have a significant psychological and emotional impact on a person and their family. If you or your loved one has been hurt in a workplace accident, it is important to consult with an experienced Louisiana worker’s compensation attorney who can help guide you through the process.
Our team at Broussard + Williamson represents victims who are rendered unable to work and in need of medical care after a workplace accident. While there are laws designed to help and protect workers in such a scenario, a skilled attorney who is well-versed in workers’ compensation cases may be able to ensure you receive the compensation amount you deserve.
There is a sizable financial burden that comes after a workplace injury. The National Safety Council estimates that a medically consulted injury costs an average of $44,000—a significant amount for any employee.
It is important to hire a workers comp attorney that would help you navigate the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and aggressively represent and fight for your rights when necessary. Our skilled Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys are available for consultation. Call us today at (866) 281-4774.
Types of Work Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Louisiana
Most Louisiana workers know that workers’ compensation exists, however, many do not know the extent of what is covered by the law and what type of compensation workers are entitled to receive.
The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act codifies a system of benefits that allow workers who experienced a workplace injury to maintain their independence if they are rendered unable to continue making a living.
In Louisiana, workers’ comp covers both physical and mental injuries sustained from accidents in the workplace. However, workers’ compensation will only cover mental injuries that result from a physical injury or sudden death. Sufficient convincing evidence must also be provided documenting the extent of the mental injury.
The most common types of physical injuries sustained in workplace accidents in Louisiana are the following:
- Bodily trauma
- Sprains, strains, pulled muscles
- Torn ligaments or tendons
- Bone fractures
- Injuries that require surgery
Keep in mind that many insurance companies providing workers’ compensation are in the business to make a profit and therefore may have the incentive to pay out as little as possible.
It’s important to seek the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can represent your best interests, protect your rights, and work hard to get you the benefits you deserve.
Available Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation
Insurers, including those selling workers’ comp insurance, make more money when they pay out fewer claims. This means they often try to pay out less than what an injured party is entitled to. If you have been hurt as a result of a workplace accident, keep in mind that you may be entitled to the following benefits:
Lost wages or indemnity benefits
If your workplace injuries have caused you to lose some wage-earning capacity, you may be entitled to Supplemental Earnings Benefits (SEBs). In Louisiana, the rate is equal to two-thirds of the average weekly wage in the four weeks before you incurred your injury. Indemnity benefits are also capped by law and adjusted yearly to reflect inflation.
Nobody expects to get injured when they go to work. Much less sustain injuries that can result in temporary or permanent disability. Workers’ compensation can cover the following disability benefits depending on their injuries:
- Temporary Total Disability – The worker has lost all their ability to work but the disability is temporary
- Temporary Partial Disability – The worker has lost part of their wage-earning capacity but the disability is temporary
- Permanent Total Disability – The worker has experienced a total loss of their wage-earning capacity permanently
- Permanent Partial Disability – Part of the worker’s wage-earning capacity has been permanently lost. The full extent of the disability will only be determined once the worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI)
The worker’s medical provider will be essential in proving the documents necessary in proving that the worker’s wage-earning capacity was lost. Especially in the case of a Temporary Total Disability, since a worker is entitled to receive compensation until they can work again in some capacity or reach MMI, providing clear and convincing evidence is important.
Under the Louisiana Statutes for Death Benefits RS 11:3645, families of workers who pass away in the line of work or experience a fatal injury are entitled to receive a death benefit. Depending on the case, it can include a single, lump-sum payment of $75,000 as well as money to cover burial expenses amounting to $8,500.
Occupational illnesses are diseases covered by workers’ compensation that are not related to injuries caused by accidents. The most common occupational diseases in Louisiana are repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, asbestosis, and silicosis.
The same workers’ compensation benefits are offered to those who experienced occupational illness as well as those who experienced workplace accidents. However, the presumption that an illness must have manifested after 12 months of employment has passed for it to be considered as contracted due to their job.
An injured worker is entitled to have all their workplace injury-related medical bills paid via their workers’ compensation insurance. The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Office of Workers’ Compensation has also released a comprehensive Medical Treatment Guidelines document that provides a framework for what is considered reasonable and necessary medical treatment as well as a medical fee schedule.
Workers’ compensation can cover your injuries if you were hurt in the course of performing your job, but benefits under workers’ compensation may not be as extensive as settlements awarded as a result of a regular personal injury claim.
At Broussard + Williamson, we understand the repercussions that workplace accidents can have on a person’s life. A workplace injury that results in temporary or even permanent disability can have a long-standing impact on your well-being.
Some insurance companies may undermine your workers’ compensation claim or outright deny it. Our attorneys will work to ensure that you get the benefits you are rightfully entitled to under the law and allow you to focus on your recovery. Contact us today at (866) 281-4774 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers.
Exclusive Remedy Under Louisiana Laws
When claiming workers’ compensation in Louisiana, it does not matter whose fault the accident was. An employee is entitled to claim benefits under workers comp even if the accident was the employee’s fault. There are a few exceptions that we will touch on later.
Under Louisiana’s no-fault insurance system, there is no need to prove that a party is at fault to claim benefits. For this system to work smoothly, there is a tradeoff or compromise between the employee and the employer.
Compared to other states where fault or negligence would have to be established before a worker can claim benefits, Louisiana workers can avail of their benefits more freely. However, the tradeoff involves the compromise of employees giving up their right to sue their employers for any recovery outside the guaranteed benefits employees are entitled to under workers’ compensation.
This also means that under Louisiana’s exclusive remedy laws, employees can avail of workers’ compensation more freely at the cost of not being able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering as in a personal injury suit. This is the significant difference between personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims in Louisiana.
In specific cases, however, an employee may be able to sue for compensation if the employer’s actions are considered grossly negligent to the point of being intentional. As in the case of Bazley v. Tortorich, 397 So. 2d 475, 479 (La. 1981), if an employer consciously neglects a safety concern in the workplace to the point that it causes an accident, the employer may be held liable.
If you can prove that your injuries were caused by the negligence of a third party, you may be able to file a personal injury case against the third party in addition to collecting workers’ compensation from your employer.
While determining the at-fault parties is not necessary when filing a Louisiana workers’ compensation claim, it is still important to consult with an experienced attorney who will investigate the matters of your case.
Especially in cases where the accident was caused by a malfunction or a manufacturing issue in workplace equipment or gross negligence on the part of your employer, a skilled Louisiana personal injury attorney may be able to file an injury lawsuit on your behalf. Our team of personal injury attorneys at Broussard + Williamson is available for consultation. Call us at (866) 281-4774 today.
How to Avail of Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Louisiana
A Disputed Claim for Compensation (Form 1008) is one of the most important documents involved in availing workers’ compensation for Louisiana workers. The law requires that you meet certain requirements to avail of your workers’ compensation benefits. Under the Louisiana Revised Statutes 23:1306, an injured worker or their family needs to provide notice to their employer regarding the workplace-related injury or death within 30 days.
Once an employer has received the notice from the employee or their representative, the employer has 10 days to notify the Office of Workers’ Compensation regarding the claim. The filing of Form 1008 or a formal petition for compensation will initiate the claim. Necessary details about the circumstances of the accident would also need to be declared, such as:
- The names and addresses of the parties involved.
- The time, place, nature, and cause of the workplace injury
- The specific benefit due
Determining the Amount of a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The amount of your claim should be determined by medical and legal experts in the field as a result of a careful investigation of your case. Workers’ comp insurance companies can be inclined to settle your case and while this would often be faster, the amount they offer may not match the severity of your case.
Our experienced team of Louisiana workers comp lawyers at Broussard and Williamson invest significant time and resources in working with our clients. We hire medical experts to ensure that our client’s workers’ compensation claims will cover the highest amount possible for maximum medical improvement.
How an Experienced Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyer Can Help Protect Workers’ Rights
Workplace accidents can disrupt your life and minimize your capacity to provide for your loved ones. Depending on the type of your injury, you may also be left with permanent disabilities. Getting the help of a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and what benefits you are entitled to can help alleviate some of the stress while you focus on your recovery. You need an experienced lawyer who would represent your best interests and make sure that you receive the maximum amount possible for your injuries.
Our top-rated workers’ compensation attorneys at Broussard and Williamson are available to help employees who have been injured in the line of their work. We may be able to assist you in filing a claim for your benefits. We may also be able to help you file a third-party personal injury suit, if applicable. We serve the areas of Lake Charles, Lafayette, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys, call us today at (866) 281-4774.
Broussard + Williamson client
Partner, Head of Litigation| Workers Compensation Law
Jason has called Lake Charles home for most of his life and wants to do what he can to help residents of Southwest Louisiana when they need an attorney. After graduating from McNeese State University with his undergraduate degree in English, Jason attended law school in Montgomery, Alabama. Upon completing law school, Jason and his family returned to the area immediately, and he began practicing injury law in Lake Charles. He has over 15 years of experience in handling auto crashes, commercial motor vehicle crashes, and workers’ compensation claims.