statute of limitations for workers compensation

The Statute of Limitations for Workplace Injuries

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that will provide wages and compensation for other expenses to any employee who is hurt in the course of their duties and is rendered unable to work. Workers’ compensation can help injured workers pay their medical bills for short or long-term impairments or replace lost wages. Nearly all employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

To take advantage of these benefits, there are several steps injured workers must take in order to obtain benefits.

Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a set time during which a certain legal action must be taken, or the legal action is invalid. Though the term is most commonly used in the context of a crime, it applies to legal actions other than criminal charges as well. 

Workers’ compensation laws require an injured employee or their family to file for worker’s compensation benefits within a certain period of time, referred to as the workers’ compensation statute of limitations. In the majority of states, the workers’ compensation statute of limitations is roughly within one year of the date of injury. 

However, in Louisiana, there is a somewhat more important deadline than the official workers’ compensation statute of limitations: notification of your employer. In Louisiana, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days, though the earlier you report it, the better. Insurance companies will be less skeptical of workers’ compensation claims that are reported to the employer immediately. Not to mention that the sooner you report your injury, the sooner your workers’ compensation benefits can begin. 

Once you give notice to your employer, they should complete a form called a “First Report of Injury”. They will provide this form to their insurer, who will submit it to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. You will also receive a copy of this form. 

What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Receive in Louisiana?

Generally, workers’ compensation benefits will cover reasonable and necessary medical treatment that is related to the work injury. This includes the cost of doctors’ visits, hospital bills, prescriptions, and prosthetic devices. Depending on the type of injury, you could also be eligible for temporary disability payments or a permanent disability reward. 

Temporary Disability 

If you are temporarily disabled and not able to work, you can be compensated for your lost wages through workers’ compensation benefits. You can receive these benefits until your doctor deems that you have reached maximum medical improvement; in other words, your condition is not expected to improve any further. At that point, you will need to return to work, or possibly receive permanent disability benefits if you are still unable to work. 

You can also earn some supplemental wages if your injury necessitates that you work part-time or go on light-duty, so long as you are earning less than 90% of your normal wages. These benefits are available for a maximum of 520 weeks. After that, you also have the choice of either going back to work if you are able or attempting to obtain permanent disability. Filing a claim within the workers’ compensation statute of limitations is necessary to obtain temporary disability benefits. 

Permanent Disability

If your doctor finds you to be totally and permanently disabled, your temporary disability can be extended for as long as the disability continues. Workers are considered totally disabled if they are unable to earn any wages in any job. 

These types of workers’ compensation benefits are typically awarded to workers with completely debilitating injuries such as loss of limbs or loss of the use of a limb.

Like with temporary disability benefits, partial permanent disability benefits are available if the permanent disability renders the worker unable to earn at least 90% of their normal wages. Filing a claim within the workers’ compensation statute of limitations is necessary to obtain permanent disability benefits. 

Gordon & Gordon Will Fight For Injured Employees

Obviously, determining which employees are entitled to what benefits can be difficult and complicated. The time after a work-related injury can be filled with distress for both the injured employees and their families, and squabbling with insurance companies may be the last thing on their minds.

Gordon & Gordon will take on this battle for you, and fight to have your claim recognized. They are dedicated to protecting the Shreveport, Bossier, and Mansfield areas when a person is injured in their workplace. 

Though the Louisiana workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system designed to ensure everyone gets the benefits they need, there are several things that could go wrong. For instance, an employer may forget to file a claim with their insurer within the appropriate worker’s compensation statute of limitations, even if they themselves were notified appropriately. It is best to contact an attorney like Gordon & Gordon immediately after being injured at work.

What Do I Do if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?

There are several reasons part of or all of your workers’ compensation claim may be denied, including but not limited to reporting your injury outside of the workers’ compensation statute of limitations. However, even if you adhere to the workers’ compensation statute of limitations, there are other reasons your claim can be denied, such as if the injury is not deemed to be work-related.

If there is a problem with your workers’ compensation claim whether it is related to the workers’ compensation statute of limitations, you have the right to a hearing with a workers’ compensation judge in Louisiana. If you disagree with the judge’s decision during this hearing, you can appeal it with the Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Contact the Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Gordon & Gordon!

During both your hearing and any appeals you may need to file to get your appropriate compensation, you will benefit immensely from the advice and counsel of an experienced and thorough attorney. 

Gordon & Gordon has been helping employees in the Shreveport area receive the compensation they deserve for a combined thirty years. Because of the workers’ compensation statute of limitations, it is important to act quickly when you have been injured in the workplace. Gordon & Gordon is prepared to personally handle your case; call or email today for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. 

Call Gordon & Gordon 24/7 at 318-716-HELP.  You can also fill out a quick online form to schedule a free consultation! 

gordon and gordon workers compensation exemptions

Workers Comp Exemption for Louisiana

The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s (LWC) Department of Labor requires nearly all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but there are some notable exemptions. If you believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation in Louisiana, you will need to ensure that your employer is not exempt by Louisiana law from carrying workers’ compensation insurance.

What is a Worker’s Compensation Exemption in Louisiana?

Almost all employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance; money that can be paid out to an employee injured on the job. However, the following employers are exempt from carrying this insurance, and their employees are not covered if they are injured on the job:

  • Real estate brokers or sales agents licensed in Louisiana.
  • Employees of a private residential household.
  • Employees of a private unincorporated farm.
  • Musicians and entertainers with performance contracts.
  • Employees working in railroads or on trains while engaged in interstate or foreign trade.
  • Airplane crews working in dusting or spraying operations.
  • Mineral exploration, development and transportation “landmen.”
  • Employees covered by the Federal Employees Liability Act, the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act , and the Jones Act.

Therefore, if you are injured on the job and your employer is included in the above, you will unfortunately not be entitled to any workers’ compensation. 

Why Are Some Employers Granted Exemptions to Workers’ Compensation?

Oftentimes, employers will be exempt from carrying workers’ compensation due to the size of their business, or the number of employees their business has. For example, in Louisiana, if the only employee of a company is its owner, the owner would not be required to take out workers’ compensation insurance on themselves. Some independent contractors may be required to carry insurance, and any employers that hire them would not be required to carry workers’ compensation on those independent contractors. 

Am I Entitled to Workers Compensation in Louisiana?

If you’ve been seriously injured on the job in any but the above occupations, you are entitled by the Department of Labor law to have your medical expenses, lost income (past, present and future), rehabilitation costs, vocational retraining if necessary and possibly more.

Gordon and Gordon workers’ compensation lawyers have 60 years of combined experience providing vigilant, dedicated assistance to injured employees in the Shreveport area and beyond. 

As your workers’ compensation attorney team, we will fight with your employer’s insurance company to acquire the medical care and financial compensation you are legally entitled to. With extensive experience handling thousands of Shreveport workers’ compensation cases, we understand your situation, care about your well-being, and will persistently and aggressively battle for your rights as an injured employee. 

While you focus on recovery, Gordon and Gordon will handle all insurance negotiations on your behalf, document your injuries, expenses and lost income and file all the necessary complex forms in a deadline intensive manner so you don’t have to worry or be stressed by the confusing, arduous process. With respect and compassion, we’ll work with you through every step so you’re assured your case is being handled effectively and fairly.

Contact Gordon and Gordon for Worker’s Compensation Claims

Call us today at 318.617.HELP to schedule your free, no-obligation meeting in our conveniently located Shreveport office to discuss your unique situation and so we can answer any questions you may have. Or if you prefer, send us a confidential note on our contact form.

does my boss have worker's comp

Workers Comp Employer Obligations in Louisiana

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Department of Labor enforces the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act (LWCA) requiring all employers who have one or more employees, and operate within Louisiana state boundaries, to protect their employees with workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

An employee is defined as any person hired to perform services or labor for pay, whether full- or part-time, although there are some exceptions

What Defines a Workplace Injury in Lousiana?

The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act defines a workplace accident as an “unexpected or unforeseen, identifiable precipitous event happening suddenly or violently, with or without human fault and directly producing at the time objective findings of an injury, which is more than simply a gradual deterioration or progressive degeneration.”

Under LWCA, it is irrelevant whether the accident was the employee’s or the employer’s fault with certain restrictions involving intoxication, horseplay, willful intent, or aggression.

An employer’s workers’ compensation policy protects employees who are injured in accidents or conditions arising “out of or in the course of employment.” 

Louisiana Compensation Laws for Workplace Injuries

The United States enacted workers’ compensation laws in 1910 with Louisiana following suit and created its own program in 1914.

The law guarantees that an injured employee will receive appropriate medical care and expenses, rehabilitation, vocational retraining if necessary, and are entitled to recover lost wages (2/3 of regular pay tax-free). If an employee dies on the job or because of job conditions, their qualifying loved one(s) are entitled to death benefits.

If an employer fails to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees, they may be fined and/or imprisoned for federal and Louisiana Department of Labor violations.

It is a serious offense, both civilly and criminally, for an employer not to have a workers’ compensation policy or to ask or encourage an employee to pay for their own coverage.

How Long Does an Employer Have to File a Workers Comp Claim?

If any employee suspects that their employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage or if the employer requires or encourages an employee to pay for or purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy, this serious violation should be reported to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA)  Fraud & Compliance Department.

Gordon and Gordon Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been injured and you don’t feel as if your employer (or former employer) isn’t doing everything they can to get you up and going again, or if you feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick with respect to worker’s compensation, give Gordon and Gordon a call. We know the law surrounding personal injury cases and know how to get you the compensation you deserve.

For more information about employer workers’ compensation employee insurance coverage requirements, or if you have sustained an injury or illness because of your work conditions, call 318.716.HELP to schedule your free, no-obligation meeting with our Gordon and Gordon attorney team in our conveniently located Shreveport office. Or send us a confidential note on our contact form, and we’ll respond promptly.

duty of care

Duty of Care and Personal Injury

When a person reasonably expects they are safe but are injured because of recklessness or negligence of another, the victim is lawfully permitted to pursue monetary compensation against that person or entity.

What is Duty of Care?

Louisiana laws protect people injured because of another’s irresponsible conduct under a provision called “duty of care.”

From hazardous properties, car accidents, medical malpractice, and defective or dangerous products, a breach (or violation) of duty of care mean the person or entity (defendant) responsible for an accident or illness should or could have foreseen the risk to the person harmed (plaintiff). Simply, to determine fault, it must be proven that the defendant could have prevented harm if they had conducted themselves responsibly in regard to reasonable safety measures.

If a lawsuit is pursued, the court will determine whether the defendant acted with a standard defined by the law as the “reasonable care” that an “ordinary person” would have demonstrated in the same scenario.

Breach of Duty for Personal Injury Claims

To succeed in winning monetary benefits for an accident or injury caused by another, the plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant breached a duty of reasonable care that caused an injury or illness which led to the victim’s damagesphysically, emotionally and financially.

Duty of Care Law in Louisiana

To prove the defendant was negligent and, therefore, caused your injury or illness, a plaintiff must prove the following four factors:

  1. Duty That the defendant owed a duty of safety in the injuring situation.

  2. Breach That the defendant breached that lawful duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way.

  3. Causation The defendant’s actions, or inaction, caused a victim’s injury or illness.

  4. Damages The plaintiff was injured or made ill because of the defendant’s actions or inaction.

Injured Due to Breach of Duty of Care?

With over 30 years’ combined experience representing Northwest Louisiana victims injured because of an individual, corporation or government agency’s carelessness, recklessness or criminal conduct, we have the skills and resources to negotiate and fight for your fair compensation. Gordon & Gordon’s personal injury attorneys have documented success winning multi-millions for our clients.

In Louisiana, the deadline for filing a personal injury claim is one year from the date of injury. In some rare cases, there are exemptions to this deadline. However, the longer you wait, the less likely it will be that you’ll collect the damages you deserve.

To learn more about the compensation you may deserve, call 318-716-HELP (318-716-4357) for a free, no-obligation meeting in one of our Shreveport, Mansfield or Bossier City offices with Northwest Louisiana’s premier personal injury attorneys, Gordon & Gordon Law. Or if it’s more comfortable for you, send us a message on our notepad, and someone from our office will be in touch with you promptly.

workers compensation

How Much Will You Get From Worker’s Compensation Benefits in Shreveport?

If you can’t work or lost pay because of an employer-caused job accident or illness (including psychiatric or psychological conditions), your employer is required by law to pay you 2/3 of your normal income, tax-free, as well as your medical treatment, physical rehabilitation costs and equipment, temporary disability benefits, psychiatric or psychological treatment, supplemental job displacement benefits, vocational rehabilitation if necessary, and a return-to-work supplement.

Louisiana Injured Workers Are Entitled To Benefits Under Federal and Louisiana Law

To secure the medical care and financial compensation you’re legally entitled to, an experienced, diligent workers’ compensation attorney can help. Gordon & Gordon Law is dedicated to helping injured workers protect themselves financially and receive the medical care and vocational support they need. Founding partners Stephen Gordon and Daniel Gordon’s legal skills are finely honed, backed by the most up-to-date knowledge of workers’ compensation’ complex and convoluted rules.

Because workers’ compensation is exceedingly different from any other area of law, our legal team focuses on its intricacies which is imperative for the successful pursuit of benefits that federal and Louisiana laws say you’re entitled to.

A Summary Of Louisiana’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ comp insurance provides the following benefits:

MEDICAL CARE COSTS for Personal Injury in Louisiana

Ambulance service
Emergency room treatment
Physicians fees
Prescriptions
Physical rehabilitation
Assistance equipment

PSYCHIATRIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST FEES

TEMPORARY DISABILITY
Lost wage payments while you’re recovering.

PERMANENT DISABILITY
Lost wage payments if you don’t completely recover.

SUPPLEMENTAL JOB DISPLACEMENT VOUCHERS
Retraining and/or skill enhancement if you don’t recover completely and can’t return to your job.

DEATH BENEFITS
Spousal, children or other dependents receive monetary compensation when an employee dies because of job injury or illness.

For expert legal assistance filing your workers’ compensation claim and pursuing benefits, Gordon & Gordon Law Firm’s team of knowledgeable, experienced attorneys can help. Or if you already filed a claim and it was denied, we can help you through the arduous process of filing an appeal.

How Much Is A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Going To Cost?

When you consider hiring an attorney, perhaps one of the first things you worry about is money. How much is an attorney going to cost me? Because you’re already worried about your finances, perhaps you’ve considered going at it alone to save money. However, when you try to go through the workers’ compensation claims scenario by yourself, you’ll be faced with what for many is an overwhelming and confusing process tangled in red tape, complex procedures, and inflexible deadlines. One wrong step and your claim compensation may be significantly delayed or denied altogether.

In the end, handling it alone may cost you dearly.

Gordon & Gordon Law Firm’s No Up-Front Cost Guarantee

When Gordon & Gordon Law takes your case, you’ll never pay us a cent up-front. We’ll cover all the costs no matter what. Only after we acquire your monetary settlement will we be paid a reasonable, pre-agreed fee. In other words, no money comes out of your pocket, and we don’t get paid until you get paid.

With all that’s at stake, you can’t afford not to have the best Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys to handle the confusing and complex claims or appeal process and meet the statute of limitation deadlines.

Strict Statutes of Limitations Restrict Time for Filing A Claim—Call Us Today So You Don’t Lose Your Rights

To learn how you can protect your financial and medical rights as an injured employee, contact the premier Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys Stephen Gordon and Daniel Gordon today at 318-716-HELP (318-716-4357).

During a personal, no-obligation meeting in one of our Shreveport, Mansfield or Bossier City offices, we’ll listen attentively to what happened, clarify your benefits’ rights and respectfully discuss a preliminary strategy for handling your case. Or if it’s more comfortable for you, send us a message on our website, and someone from our office will be in touch with you promptly.

(And if you’re too injured or ill to visit us, we’ll come to you.)

Worker's Compensation Lawyer

When to Hire a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

To file a workers’ compensation claim, there are confusing forms to fill out and file, unfamiliar language and abbreviations, piles of paperwork and inflexible deadlines. If you get one thing wrong, your claim is likely to be denied. And facing it all feels like too much. Hasn’t enough harm has been done to you when you were injured while responsibly and conscientiously performing your job duties?

Do I Need an Employee Injury Attorney in Shreveport?

Now is the time to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer when you’ve been injured on the job or are ill because of work conditions. If you’re unable to work and have lost critical income—and medical expenses and other bills are mounting—you can never begin the claim process too soon.

And because Louisiana statute of limitations deadlines are strict, if you wait to file a workers’ compensation claim, you may permanently lose your right to benefits.

As a hard-working injured employee, you deserve the help of a skilled, aggressive workers’ compensation attorney immediately who will work hard to acquire your lawful benefits.

And because workers’ compensation law is exceedingly specialized, a finely tuned focus on its intricacies is imperative for the successful pursuit of the benefits federal and Louisiana law provides. With attorneys Gordon and Gordon as your lawyers, you can be confident his legal skills are top-notch and that he’s up-to-date on the most current, often changing workers’ compensation laws and regulations.

Do You Know How Federal and Louisiana Laws Protect Injured Employees?

When you’ve been injured on the job because of dangerous, toxic, hazardous conditions, by law your employer is required to pay your medical care, temporary disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, vocational rehabilitation, a return-to-work supplement, psychiatric or psychological care when needed, and 2/3 of your usual pay, tax-free.

Attorney’s Gordon and Gordon for Work Injury Cases

As a skilled hands-on firm, Gordon and Gordon are uniquely qualified to vigorously pursue the medical care and financial compensation you lawfully and morally deserve. Throughout the process, he will consistently and respectfully communicate with you about the progress of your case and answer phone calls and emails promptly.

As your vigilant advocate, attorneys Gordon and Gordon fully understand how critical obtaining a just workers’ compensation settlement is to your quality of life, whether you’re a husband, wife, father, mother or a single person. Unlike some other law firms, he and his compassionate legal team will take a personal interest in your well-being.

When the Gordon and Gordon firm takes your case, you’ll never ever pay a cent up-front—only after we acquire your monetary settlement will he be paid a reasonable, pre-agreed fee.

Even if You Began the Claims Process, or Your Benefits Were Denied, It’s Not Too Late

If you already filed a claim, you may be overwhelmed by the process. Or if you filed a claim, and it was denied, attorneys Gordon and Gordon can appeal it.

Gordon and Gordon, Shreveport Work Injury Lawyers

To learn how you can protect your rights as an injured employee, contact the Gordon and Gordon law firm now for your free, no obligation case assessment for the Shreveport, Bossier, Mansfield areas. It’s easy. Contact Gordon and Gordon today!

Sue outside of worker's comp

Third Party Work Injury

Have you been injured due to work-related conditions and think your only option for monetary damages recovery is through workers’ compensation?

It’s not necessarily true.

Recovering Damages Over Workers’ Compensation in Louisiana

While you may assume that workers’ compensation benefits are your only source of a financial recovery, it’s possible the responsibility for your injuries may be the fault of a third party. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation beyond the limitations of a workers’ compensation claim.

Work Injuries Caused by A Third Party Require A Competent Lawyer

 Third-party liability (responsibility) occurs when a non-employer person or entity causes your work-related accident. For instance, third-party liability may include but is not limited to:

  • Manufacturers/designers of dangerous, defective equipment.  
  • Contractors and subcontractors.
  • Service providers.
  • Non-employee vehicle drivers.
  • Owners of property visited while performing work tasks.

Because workers’ compensation recovery is limited, if an employee’s injuries are severe, they may not recover all their medical expenses and lost income. What’s more, workers’ compensation law does not provide recovery for non-economic damages. Non-economic, or “general,” damages include pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, mental anguish, loss of consortium (companionship) and in egregious incidents of reckless or negligent conduct, punitive damages. https://www.justia.com/injury/negligence-theory/third-party-liability/

Shreveport Personal Injury Attorneys At Gordon & Gordon for Work Injury Claims

 The consequences of a work injury can significantly alter your life and should be taken seriously. The Shreveport Gordon & Gordon accident attorneys can intervene and help you achieve what you rightfully deserve when workers’ compensation isn’t enough to cover your financial needs. Our success proving third-party fault demonstrates we have the skills and experience to build a strong case beyond a workers’ compensation claim.

 If you believe a third-party may be responsible for your injuries, it may be possible to win monetary recovery beyond workers’ compensation benefits. With 30 years combined experience representing injured workers, we have the knowledge, resources and investigative skills necessary to accurately determine what caused your accident. Upon investigation, our lawyers will determine whether you have a viable claim against a third-party.

Third-Party Accident Investigation 

At our Shreveport law firm, we have a track record of consistently obtaining major financial settlements for clients injured because of work-related third party causes. And we also are widely known and respected within the legal, insurance and civil court arena for our unique approach to optimal compensation pursuit for complex work-related accident claim

For those who are permanently disabled or face a long, costly recovery, such a third-party lawsuit may be critical to your overall well-being because it may yield far greater overall compensation than a limited workers’ compensation claim.

While we never offer false hope or unrealistic expectations about recovery outcome, when we evaluate your case and meet with you, we’ll tell you honestly whether we believe you have a winnable case. No matter what, we’ll listen attentively to what happened and seriously consider your concerns, doing all we can to help.

Gordon and Gordon Personal Injury Attorneys

And if we think we can win compensation for your injuries, you’ll never pay us a cent up-front. We’ll handle all the costs of preparing your case from hiring medical and private investigators and accident scene experts, to interviewing witnesses and handling depositions, managing arbitration and mediation, paying court filing costs, and, when applicable, covering all the costs of trial litigation. Only after we win your case, will we get paid from a pre-agreed percentage of your settlement.

To begin the fight for the injury compensation you deserve, call 318-716-HELP (318-716-4357) for a free, no-obligation meeting in one of our Shreveport, Mansfield or Bossier City offices with the Northwest Louisiana’s premier personal injury advocates, Gordon & Gordon Law. Or if it’s more comfortable for you, send us a message on our notepad, and someone from our office will be in touch with you promptly.

Disability

Personal Injury Vs. Workers’ Compensation: Which One Should I File?

Have you been injured at your workplace or while performing your work duties, such as a slip and fall? If so, you may be thinking of filing a workers’ compensation claim to pay for your medical bills and help to recover your damages. However, did you know that you may also file a personal injury claim, which could provide you with a better settlement than workers’ compensation?

Generally, workers assume that when they are injured at work, the only option they have is through workers’ compensation; but in some situations, it’s possible to file a personal injury claim as well. Many believe that this is considered ‘suing’ your boss, when in reality a third party may be responsible, such as the owner of the building. In this scenario, the third party’s insurance would be responsible for handling the cost of their safety shortcomings.

When Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim

When you are injured at your workplace or off-site while carrying out work-related tasks and decide to file a workers’ comp claim, you don’t have to prove that your employer, co-worker, or any other party caused the injury. Instead, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits even when the injury was your fault in some way. This is exactly what this type of coverage is for. It’s meant to protect workers who become injured in any way, since even if the injury was their fault, they would not have been injured if they were not on the job working for someone else.

If you decide to go with workers’ compensation, you will not receive anything outside of economic costs, but you may recover damages such as medical expenses, weekly compensation for wages, permanent impairment benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. You will not, therefore, be able to claim for pain and suffering. This is because workers’ compensation is actually a form of insurance, or a trade between the business owner and the providers of labor.

When Filing A Personal Injury Claim

The biggest and most important difference is that a personal injury claim is based on fault and a workers’ compensation case is not. In order to recover damages against someone for a car accident, a slip and fall, or indeed any type of negligence claim, the other person must be negligent, meaning that he/she must have done something wrong.

Another difference between a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim is that the latter are not limited to any specific set of people (i.e. workers). In fact, anyone who is injured due to the negligence of another is eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, including workers. But in order for an injured worker to recover damages through this more broad route, they must be able to prove that another person or party was at fault or negligent, and caused the injuries.

Unlike workers’ comp damages, personal injury damages are compensatory, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and damages for pain and suffering resulting from the injury.

If you have been injured in a work setting, you may wish to consider the following factors when considering legal remedies:

  • Who is liable for the injury?
  • Was the injury was directly caused by performance of work tasks?
  • Was the injury a one-time event or a recurring condition?

If you have further questions regarding an injury, it may be necessary to discuss more with your employer, or hire a lawyer for more advice.

You’ll Probably Need To Hire An Experienced Attorney

It’s unfortunate when you’re injured on the job, but there are options available to you. Injury and workers compensation laws have a special relationship that is often difficult to understand. You may need to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to better understand and handle your case. Your attorney can inform you of the different options available to you with regards to an injury that occurred in a work setting. Also, if you need to appear in court or before a judge, your lawyer can help represent you in those times.

Gordon & Gordon Law Firm has been representing clients in the Northwest Louisiana area for over 30 combined years of experience. Attorneys Stephen Gordon and Daniel Gordon founded the law firm of Gordon & Gordon to provide legal representation for people who have been personally injured due to the fault of others. They both work and live right here in the Ark-La-Tex area and will provide a free consultation to you if you call our offices today.

Lady Justice

What Is A Contingency Fee?

A client pays contingent fees to a lawyer only if the lawyer handles a case successfully. Lawyers and clients use this arrangement only in cases where money is being claimed—most often in cases involving personal injury or workers’ compensation.

In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage (often about one third) of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client. If you win the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money that awarded to you from your settlement. If you lose your case, neither you nor the lawyer will get any money, but you will not be required to pay your attorney for the work done on the case either. On the other hand, win or lose, you probably will have to pay court filing fees, the costs related to deposing witnesses, and/or similar charges.

The amount a lawyer can charge for a contingency fee is generally not regulated by law. There are some limited exceptions to this rule, including worker’s compensation claims or claims brought under certain federal laws like the Federal Tort Claims Act. However, because of competition, contingency fees are very uniform throughout the country. Usually, the more complex or time-consuming cases which require the expenditure of considerable costs by the lawyer will demand higher contingency fees. If the lawyer must risk substantial sums of money on risky cases, he or she will often charge a higher contingency fee.

Contingency fees could sometimes be frustrating for both clients and attorneys. In general, contingency fees might be considered a problem for the client or attorney:

  • If a case settles quickly or recovers a lot of money, clients may feel frustrated that the attorney was paid more than the attorney deserves.
  • If a case goes longer than expected or recovers little money, the attorney may be frustrated by lost time and expenses.

In other words, contingency fees by nature will not be 100% accurate, and either the attorney or client may feel somewhat shorted. Attorneys understand this risk, and they can still offset being paid too little on some cases with being paid more than expected on others. Still, clients paying a large fee to an attorney may feel frustrated and want to consider a different payment option depending on the size or nature of their case.

Contingency fees are rarely, if ever, available for these legal areas:

  • Real estate
  • Business litigation
  • Criminal defense (DUI, traffic, drug, and other charges)
  • Adoption
  • Immigration
  • Divorce and similar family law issues
  • Bankruptcy
  • Drafting a contract, will, trust, or other legal documents
  • Starting a business
  • Registering a trademark, copyright, or patent

Consult one of the experienced attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm to see if your important legal matter can be handled without any cost to you upfront. Our free initial consultation has no obligation, and we’ll work closely with you to determine what the best approach to your case might be, even if a contingency fee is not available or other options are preferable.

Car Seat Safety

Car Seat Safety Check: Mistakes You Might Be Making

Car seat safety isn’t only a good practice to retain, it’s the law! Anyone with a child is likely to understand the importance of car-seat safety and how difficult it can typically be to set one up. Almost half (46%) of all child seats that are put into a vehicle include mistakes in the installation or in securing the child to the seat, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The errors significantly “reduce the protection of that car seat or booster seat in the event of a crash,” the agency concludes. Studies suggest that parents and caregivers were often confident that they had done it right, but still unknowingly failed to follow all safety precautions when securing their child into a car seat.

 

Some of the most common mistakes made while securing a child into a car seat are:

  • Using the wrong size seat at the wrong age
  • Not positioning the seat where you can get the tightest fit
  • Not fastening the harness straps securely enough or in the correct position
  • Using both lower anchors and the seat belt— you should choose just one type of installation method.
  • Not using the top tether for a front-facing seat. The top tether is critical whether you’re using a seat belt or lower anchors.
  • Continuing to use lower anchors when your child has surpassed the weight limit

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Association

 

Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash, yet car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. In 2015, 35% of car crashes involving children who not buckled up correctly to the car seat or booster seat resulted in fatalities. For this reason alone, it is very important to choose and use the right car seat, correctly, every time your child is in the car. A car-seat check can help bridge the gap between thinking you’ve got it right and knowing you do.

 

The following steps will guide you through installing your car seat correctly and keeping your child safe:

  • Read your car seat’s instruction manual and your vehicle’s owner manual. Every seat and vehicle is different, which may affect the way the way that you’ll install your particular car seat.
  • Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle, in the rear-facing position.
    Carefully thread the seatbelt through the rear-facing belt path and make sure there are no twists in the seat belt.
  • Buckle and lock the seat belt tightly to the back seat. (You should not be able to move the car seat side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.)
  • Make sure your car seat is installed at the correct recline angle, since babies must ride sitting semi-reclined to keep the airway open.
  • Place your child in the car seat with the child’s back flat against the car seat.
  • Place harness straps over the child’s shoulders. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slots located at or below your child’s shoulders.
  • Buckle the harness and the chest clip, and tighten until snug. The harness is snug enough when you cannot pinch any extra material at the shoulder.
  • If your baby needs support, try to fill the empty spaces with small, rolled blankets on each side of the baby’s shoulders and head so the fit is snug.
  • Bulky clothing or blankets can prevent a snug harness fit. Always buckle the child in the seat first, and then place any coats or blankets over the harness.
  • Place the seat’s chest clip at armpit level, which will hold the harness straps in place on the child’s chest and shoulders.

 

You should never put your children at risk the next time you head for the grocery store, over to grandma’s house, transporting to school, or the dozens of other places you may take them on a weekly basis. Be certain to educate yourself on the latest rules or receive the help from trained Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician who will inspect and approve your car seat installation if you have any doubts. Many parents try their best and still can’t figure this out, while others may think they can stretch an infant seat until they need a booster just to save a bit of money. While there is no link between the cost of the car seat and its effectiveness, please do take all the time you need to make sure you have the right seat with the correct installation for your child’s safety!

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