What do you know about Louisiana worker’s compensation? What about Louisiana worker’s compensation settlements? Here we provide information similar to a Louisiana Worker’s Comp Settlement chart.
So, you got hurt at work in Louisiana. You’re stuck at home because of your injury. You might hear “Louisiana worker’s compensation” and balk because you don’t want to lay blame on your employer, go to court, or get fired for filing a claim.
Fortunately, all these things are pretty rare in actual worker’s compensation claims. In this post, our worker’s compensation lawyers at Gordon & Gordon will answer all your questions and debunk some myths about Louisiana worker’s compensation.
What is Louisiana Worker’s Compensation?
Let’s go back to the situation we talked about earlier: you got hurt at work, and you’re at home recovering. You’ve got some medical bills and no way to pay them.
The good thing is, this is exactly what the Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Act is for!
If you get hurt at your job and can’t work because of it, you can get certain benefits from your employer and their worker’s compensation insurer.
If you’re concerned about getting fired for filing a worker’s compensation claim, don’t be. Your employer cannot fire you for filing a worker’s compensation claim. If they fire you for another reason, they are still responsible for your benefits.
Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Insurers
Before we talk about what kinds of benefits you can get from your employer, let’s talk about their insurer. Louisiana law requires most employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Employers will purchase this insurance through an insurance company. You will need the name of this insurance company to file your claim.
There are cases where an employer might make it difficult to discover the name of their insurance carrier. In these cases, you need a Louisiana worker’s compensation attorney. Usually, a letter from your attorney will be enough to get the insurance carrier’s name.
If you don’t want to involve an attorney just yet, you can check the Louisiana Department of Labor’s website. Just click on the “Worker’s Compensation Coverage Verification” link in the bottom left corner.
What Benefits Can I Get From Louisiana Worker’s Compensation?
There are a variety of things your employer may be responsible for. Below is a list of the Louisiana worker’s compensation benefits you may receive:
Indemnity Benefits for Lost Wages
This will typically be about ⅔ of your average weekly wage. There are a few different kinds of indemnity benefits, including temporary total disability, supplemental earnings, permanent partial disability, etc.
But the ⅔ rule does not apply if you are a high-earner. There is a cap on indemnity benefits. In 2019, that maximum was about $660 per week. Even if you have a six or seven-figure salary, you can only receive the maximum weekly payment. The state reviews these limits every year.
Your employer will be responsible for all your accident-related medical bills. You will need the insurer’s permission for medical treatment totaling more than $750 unless it is emergency treatment.
Choice of Physician
The injured employee can choose one physician in any field or specialty. But if you change specialists, you need permission from the insurer.
For instance, if your injury is a knee injury, you have the right to choose your own orthopedic surgeon. If you want to change orthopedic surgeons, you need your worker’s compensation insurer’s permission.
You do not need permission to choose your own physician in other specialties. Let’s say you’ve chosen your orthopedic surgeon, but you also need an ENT for an accident-related injury. You do not need the insurer’s permission to also choose an ENT.
But it’s important to remember that your employer can ask you to undergo an examination by one of their preferred doctors at any time.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Many residents of Louisiana work in the oil field. If an oilfield worker sustains an injury that is severe enough, they may not be able to return to the oilfield. There may not be an alternative job available with their employer.
In this case, the employer must assist the employee in finding a new job.
You may need to do a fair bit of driving to get the services, medications, or prosthetics that you need. You may even need to do some flying. The good news is that your employer is responsible for paying those expenses, so long as they are reasonable and necessary.
Wrongful Death Benefits
This is a worst-case scenario, obviously. But in the case of a death, the employer is still responsible for benefits to the decedent’s loved ones. The employer may be responsible for funeral costs, compensation for the decedent’s lost income, and any medical bills incurred before the death.
How Much Can I Get in a Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Settlement?
There’s no surefire way to tell how much money you might get in a Louisiana worker’s compensation settlement, or for how long you might get it. There are quite a few factors the settlement will hinge on. The most important factor is maintaining your benefits. It is always easier to maintain the benefits you are already getting rather than regaining benefits once you lose them.
You never need to settle your claim to continue receiving benefits. Neither does the employer and their insurer. You can’t force the employer to pay your future indemnities and medical bills; that can only happen through the agreement of the two parties.
A few things an attorney might consider during a Louisiana worker’s compensation settlement case are:
- What type of indemnity benefits is the employee receiving? Is the employer paying all the benefits?
- When was the last payment?
- Has the accident-related medical condition stabilized?
- What are the treating doctor’s recommendations?
- Is the employer paying the correct comp rate?
- What, at the end of the day, does the injured employee plan to do?
These are all things you need to consider during negotiations for your Louisiana worker’s compensation benefits. These are all things an attorney can help you with if you are unsure.
Contact Gordon & Gordon
If you or someone you know is struggling with their Louisiana worker’s compensation settlement, call Gordon & Gordon at 318.716.HELP. You can also leave us a message to arrange a consultation at any of our offices.