Worker’s Compensation Lawyers
Workers' Compensation Attorneys in Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield, Louisiana
If you are injured on the job, while completing your assigned duties, or possibly even in a car accident while working, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation claims are complex and can be very stressful, especially when you are hurt and trying to recover from a workplace injury. The last thing you need is added stress and worry over your claim but this is where our experienced workers compensation attorneys can help you.
Gordon & Gordon’s dedicated workers compensation attorneys can advise you on whether you have a workers’ compensation case or not. If you do, we can give you all of the advice you need, let you know what benefits you are entitled to, and take the stress out of the process by handling and filing your workers’ comp case for you.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Employees injured on the job in Louisiana are covered by a legal remedy called Workers’ Compensation. It entitles injured employees to certain benefits. These benefits include medical care for the injuries, repayment of lost wages, vocational rehabilitation assistance, and/or death benefits. It’s the employer’s responsibility to provide these benefits, and the firm or its workers’ compensation insurer pays them directly to the employee. Unless they’re legally exempt, every employer is responsible for the medical care and payment of lost wages to any employee injured while doing his or her job duties. You need experienced workers’ compensation attorneys on your side to help you get the benefits you deserve.
For a more in-depth description, check out our blog How Does Workers’ Comp Work?
Workers’ Comp Laws
Trying to get Workman’s Compensation after being injured on the job can be exhausting and stressful. This is especially true if you are unable to work and worried about how you will support your family. This is where workers compensation attorneys can help you out.
Did you know that in order to comply with the law, every company in Louisiana, including Shreveport, is required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance to pay for medical bills and missed earnings for injured workers? This law was created to preserve Louisiana’s workers’ rights and to assist anyone who has been hurt on the job. Workers compensation attorneys ensure your rights are protected.
Who is Covered By Workers’ Comp?
The majority of employees in Louisiana are covered from the moment they start working. This includes full-time, part-time, seasonal, or minors. If they are working for the employer or if they are doing a lot of manual labor, subcontractors and certain independent contractors may be considered employees under this law. Of course, there are some restricted exceptions to the statute. Domestic workers, most real estate salespeople, unpaid officers and directors of some non-profit organizations, and public officials are all specifically exempt. Additionally, most volunteer workers would not be eligible for benefits either.
Louisiana Workers Compensation Benefits
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be eligible for one or more of the following types of compensation:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) — If you have missed work because of your injury, you may be eligible for TTD benefits if you receive a particular certification from your doctor. The certification states that you are unable to return to work while you heal.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) — Your doctor may tell you to limit your physical activity after a workplace injury, possibly stopping you from performing certain job duties. TPD benefits will make up the gap in pay if you are able to continue working at a reduced rate.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD) — Workers injured on the job could also qualify for additional benefits on top of those they receive for their physical handicap.
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) – Sometimes a worker cannot return to work for the rest of their life due to the severity of their injuries. TPD benefits are a possibility for an injured worker if this is the case.
Your employer must offer medical treatment for any job-related injuries that arise during your employment. Once a specialty or field of treatment for your injury is established, you’ll usually be able to choose your doctor. Your employer will then choose a doctor for a second medical opinion.
You may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation if you are unable to return to work because of an injury. It may be necessary to determine your physical limitations. So a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) could be administered. A vocational expert will help you search for jobs that are in line with your physician’s work restrictions.
The expert workers compensation attorneys at Gordon & Gordon guide you through this time-consuming process and make sure you’re not sent back to work before your doctor says you’re ready.
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Rates
The LA Office of Worker’s Compensation Administration regulates the rates in Louisiana. The weekly Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefit amount is two-thirds of the injured worker’s normal weekly pay at the time of the accident. However, these benefits are subject to both an upper and a lower limit. The maximum award is 75% of the statewide average weekly wage at the time of your injury, with a minimum of 20%. The maximum TTD payout is $705 per week for accidents occurring between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, while the minimum is $188.
Supplemental Earnings Benefits
In Louisiana, if you are able to work (including self-employment), you cannot get temporary disability benefits. However, you may be eligible for “supplemental earnings benefits” if your injury prevents you from earning at least 90% of your pre-injury wages.
Supplemental earnings benefits are based on 2/3 of the difference between what you made prior to your workplace injury and what you’re capable of earning now in any field. For example, if you were earning $3,000 per month prior to your accident, but can now only work light-duty jobs that pay $1,800 per month, you would be paid two-thirds of the $1,200 difference, or $800 per month.
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Insurance
With a few exceptions, all public and private companies in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for all employees. An employee is someone who is hired to perform services for a fee, whether they work full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal.
A number of factors help determine the premiums for workers’ compensation. These factors include your total yearly payroll, the sort of work your employees do, and your company’s previous accident history.
What Types of Accidents May Lead to Workers’ Compensation?
Overexertion injuries, slips and falls, falling from heights, vehicle accidents, and repetitive motion injuries are all examples of common workplace accidents that result in a workers’ compensation claim.
- Overexertion Injuries – This includes injuries related to pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying, and throwing activities at work. Overexertion has consistently been the number one workplace injury and also the most expensive.
- Slipping/Tripping – This pertains to slip and fall accidents on wet and slippery floors or trips over items on the floor. Employers should have safety guidelines to ensure spills are promptly cleaned and no debris is present.
- Falling from Heights – This type of fall happens from an elevated area such as roofs, ladders, and stairways. They can be caused by slip and fall accidents or faulty equipment. These types of accidents can be reduced by the use of proper personal protection gear, training, and employee diligence.
- Vehicle Accidents – Employees who drive for business purposes may be injured in a car accident or commercial truck accident. For example, semi-truck accidents may involve a workers’ comp claim because they are being driven for an employer and by an employee. Employee safe-driver training and employer safe driving policies are likely to reduce accidents, but cannot prevent them entirely.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries – This type of workplace injury is one that’s less obvious, but definitely harmful in the long run. Repetitive motions such as typing and using the computer 24/7 can strain muscles and tendons causing back pain, vision problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Employee training and the use of proper ergonomic equipment can help keep these incidents low.
- Fires and Explosions – Chemical plant explosions and oilfield refinery accidents often trace back to human error, not following OSHA regulations, poor maintenance, a faulty valve, and failure to adhere to safety guidelines. These fires and explosions can lead to devastating, often fatal injuries.
What Steps Should You Take Following a Workplace Injury?
The clock starts ticking immediately after you are injured in a workplace accident in Louisiana. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. This is crucial no matter how mild your injury appears to be.
A claim for benefits is usually due one year after the date of the injury. If you are injured at the workplace, you should contact workers compensation attorneys and take these steps to ensure that you meet the requirements to collect your workers’ compensation:
- Get immediate medical care.
- Document your injury with your employer, immediately.
- If your injury is one that builds up over time, report it as soon as you discover that it may be work-related.
- Contact a local personal injury attorney who is skilled in workers’ law and workers’ comp claims.
What Should Your Employer
Do To Ensure You Receive Workers’ Compensation?
Your employer is required by Louisiana law Title 23 to have Workers’ Compensation insurance in the event that you, or a co-worker, are injured at work. This insurance will protect you when you get hurt and will help cover your:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Death benefits, for fatal accidents
If you or a co-worker are hurt while working, your employer must take your personal injury seriously and document the facts around an accident. They must also make sure an accident investigation is carried out to help reveal the root of the problem and point toward safety improvements.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Near Me
Contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Gordon and Gordon Law Firm right away if you or a loved one has been hurt in a work-related accident and would like to learn more about your workers’ compensation options. You can give us a call at (318) 716-4357 or complete our online intake form to get in touch today.