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! 

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.

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.

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