If you are hurt on the job in Louisiana, unable to work due to the injury and if your injury is covered by Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer are obligated to pay indemnity benefits, necessary and reasonable
related medical bills, travel expenses and vocational rehabilitation benefits. In the event of death, benefits are payable to your survivors. Before settling your Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Claim, you should be familiar with the various types of benefits owed and issues specific to workers compensation settlements.
Workers compensation payments are made regardless of fault on the part of the employer or employee. In exchange for the benefits, the employee generally waives the right to sue his or her employer in tort for pain and suffering damages. After a work related injury and perhaps a vistit to the hospital emergency room, the first thing an injured worker will need to do is to figure out who the employer’s workers compensation insurer.
LOUISIANA WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURERS After an accident, an employer often refuses to provide the injured employee with the name of its insurer in an attempt to try to discourage the employee from making a claim. If this is the case, get a Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer. Action on your part—a letter to the employer or filling a disputed claim—may be required to determine who the insurance carrier is. Popular insurance companies include: Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation (LWCC), CNA, AIG, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Sea Bright Insurance Co., The Hartford, and Chartis. If you decide you do not want to get a lawyer in involved at this stage of the claim, you can also try to determine who the insurer is by clicking onto “Workers Compensation Coverage Verification” in the lower left hand corner of this Louisiana Department of Labor page. Below are the types of Louisiana Workers Compensation benefits you may be eligible for:
INDEMNITY BENEFITS FOR LOST WAGES Indemnity benefits are typically two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Indemnity benefits include temporary total disability, supplemental earnings benefits, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability. The maximum indemnity payment someone injured between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019 is $665.00. That’s right, even if you are earning $1,000,000 in wages per year, when injured, the most you will receive in weekly indemnity under the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act is the maximum amount. The State of Louisiana Weekly Compensation Benefits Limits are revised annually for the coming year of injuries.
MEDICAL BENEFITS Accident related medical bills are paid by the employer and its workers’ compensation insurer. The workers’ compensation insurer’s approval is required for treatment beyond $750 unless the care is provided under emergency conditions.
A health insurer’s payment of job injury medical expenses will extinguished the injured employee’s claim against her employer for those medical expenses under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. However, the claim is not extinguished for direct payment by the employee, a relative or friend of the employee, or by Medicaid, or other state medical assistance programs. Sompensation claim.
CHOICE OF PHYSICIAN The injured employee has the right to choose one treating physician in any field or specialty. The employer or insurance carrier’s permission is required to change treating physicians within the same field or specialty after the employee’s initial choice. An emergency room physician is not considered the choice of the employee.
If the employer or its insurer provides the injured employee with a choice of physician form to select his or her own physician, the injured employee is not required to choose the company’s doctor; rather, they may choose their own physician. However, an injured employee must submit to an examination by a company doctor paid for by the company or its insurer as often as may be reasonably necessary.
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION BENEFITS Generally, if you are unable to return to your job of injury or an alternative job with the same employer, the employer is required to do a labor market survey to find jobs available in your geographic area for job duties approved by your doctor.
LUMP SUM LOUISIANA WORKERS COMPENSATION SETTLEMENTS
There is no Louisiana Workers Compensation settlement calculator. The value of any possible Louisiana Workers Compensation settlement hinges on many things, one of the most important, is the injured worker maintaining his or her rights to indemnity, medical, mileage and vocational rehabilitation benefits. What benefits are owed and still being paid? What is owed and not being paid? What is not owed? A lawyer may be helpful in helping an injured worker keep his or her benefits. It is usually easier to maintain benefits than to attempt to restart them once they are lost.
The injured worker or surviving dependents (in case of death) never need to settle their claims for future benefits and neither does the employer and insurance company. The injured worker cannot force the insurance company and employer to pay all of her future indemnity, medical mileage and vocational rehab benefits all at one time; that can only be done by agreement of the parties. Although the injured worker who is receiving weekly payments will probably live a long life, the insurance company will argue that he or she might die tomorrow in a car accident or some other reasons unrelated to the work accident, making the comp claim near worthless.
Some things to consider when valuing and settling a Louisiana Workers Compensation case include the following:
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DISTRICT OFFICES There are several Louisiana Workers Compensation District Offices that serve specific parishes. For a complete list of the Judges, Mediators, Dispute Resolution Specialists, mailing addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses and Parishes served, see this chart.
Lavis Law Firm handles disputed claims for compensation and workers comp settlements at the Louisiana Office of Workers Compensation District Office, which are located in Harahan, New Orleans, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Covington, Alexandria, Monroe and Shreveport.
If you need help or have any question about your job injury, call me, a Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer, at 866-558-9151, or submit your inquiry online. Please be advised that you may be facing important legal deadlines so don’t delay.
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Review by: Keisha Woods
Reviewing: Lavis Law Firm
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