When Should I Hire A Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Not all workers compensation cases require a lawyer. However, there are many common scenarios of cases that injured workers have my office handle for them. For example,
THE DEADBEAT EMPLOYER: You are hurt on the job and your employer brings you to the emergency room and promises to pay for your medical bills out of his own pocket. You soon find out that the injury is more extensive, requiring you to miss time from work and incur thousands in expensive medical bills. Your employer tells you to come back to work when you can and then does nothing, not even pay the bills. You begin to wonder if your employer even has workers compensation insurance.
EMPLOYER HAS A POSTED NO LOST-TIME ACCIDENT SIGN: Does your employer have a “We Have Proudly Worked #### Days With No Lost-Time Accident” sign? If your employer has a posted No Lost Time Accident sign or awards financial compensation to employees only if there is a No Lost Time Accident for a certain time period, you should be concerned. These policies often put undue pressure on injured workers to under-report the extent of an injury or to not take off time from work to recuperate from a serious injury. Sometimes employers and co-workers will even imply that the injured employee, who is forced to take off work due to a work injury, is not a team player or even hurt and has caused employees to lose out financially because of a “faked injury”.
RECORDED STATEMENTS: You are hurt on the job and your employer’s workers compensation insurance company wants to meet with you to take your recorded statement before paying weekly workers compensation benefits.
CHOICE OF PHYSICIAN FORM: You are injured on the job and the employer/insurer try to make you sign a Choice of Physicians Form to try to lock you into seeing one specific insurance company doctor or one specific employers doctor (or you are asked to choose your doctor off of the list prescreened list of doctors favorable to the employer and workers compensation insurer). TIME TO BE VERY CONCERNED!
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO AT YOUR HOME AND DOCTOR’S OFFICE: You are home trying to recover from your work related injury and a suspicious car is parked around the corner from your house (or in the parking lot of your doctor’s or physical therapist’s office- prepared to follow you when you leave your appointment). You believe that the insurance company is conducting surveillance video.
THE COMPANY DOCTOR: The workers compensation insurance company wants you to visit with their doctor after you have been treating with your own doctor.
THE INTERFERING NURSE CASE MANAGER: The Louisiana workers insurance company’s nurse case manager wants to sit in on your appointment with your own treating doctor. TIME TO BE VERY CONCERNED!
INSURANCE COMPANY’S ALONE TIME WITH YOUR DOCTOR: The insurance company’s nurse case manager writes you a letter to let you know that she or he will be meeting alone with your treating doctor. She invites you to come but says that there is no reason for you to go since she will be providing you a copy of the report of her meeting with the doctor. TIME TO BE VERY CONCERNED!
THE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION (“VOC REHAB”) COUNSELOR’S LABOR MARKET SURVEY: The insurance company’s vocational rehabilitation counselor is scheduling a meeting with you so that he or she can help you with your resumé and applying for jobs online or in person. She is also planning on meeting alone with you doctor. Afterwards, she presents you with a written list of jobs aka “The Labor Market Survey” by certified mail listing the name and address of prospective employers. TIME TO BE VERY CONCERNED!
THE RELATED AND UNRELATED THIRD PARTY PAIN AND SUFFERING CLAIM: Another party unrelated to your employer causes your injury or, you are involved in an automobile accident after your work related injury.
EMPLOYEE’S MONTHLY REPORT OF EARNINGS: You have been released to return to work but are earning less money than before your accident and are asked to complete a Wage Reporting Form.
THE LOW BALL SETTLEMENT OFFER: You have received what you think is a low ball settlement offer after the insurer has asked you to provide them with a reasonable settlement demand.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? The answers to all of these questions really depends on the facts and circumstances of each work injury claim. Louisiana Worker Compensation Lawyer Charles Lavis Jr can help you verify insurance coverage, secure witness statements and photographs, prepare you for any recorded statements, help you with choice of physician forms, surveillance issues, company doctor visits, nurse case manager meetings, vocational rehab meetings and labor market survey issues, explore third-party claims for pain and suffering money and help you settle your Louisiana Workers Compensation Claim. Improper handling of the common scenarios may cause you to make fatal mistakes resulting in a reduction of benefits or even non-payment of your claim. Once a mistake is made, it may be an uphill battle to try to restore what you have lost!
“Charles Lavis Jr helped me out a couple of times with job injury cases. The insurance company tried to mess me over a couple of times and he successfully overcame the obstacles. He did a great job! I would strongly recommend him for any workers compensation case, auto accident case or any other type of problem you have with your insurance company.”
Review by: Bobby Welch
Reviewing: Lavis Law Firm – Personal Injury & Accident Attorney
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