Workplace Injury Attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana
Work-related injuries can have far-reaching consequences. While some workplace accidents result in bruises and minor cuts, others can lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limb, and even death.
People who suffer workplace injuries may be unable to return to work and may struggle to make ends meet without their income. While the law allows injured workers to obtain workers’ compensation benefits after a job-related injury or illness, securing these benefits can be an uphill battle.
At the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, our workers’ compensation attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana, know how uncertain your life can feel after suffering a workplace injury, especially if you have a family to support. We serve injured workers and families of deceased workers throughout the state of Louisiana, including New Orleans, Chalmette, St. Tammany Parish, and Jefferson Parish. Set up a consultation with us to get started.
Workers’ Compensation in Louisiana
Workers’ compensation is a legal remedy that allows workers who get injured at work or become sick due to job-related conditions to obtain certain benefits, which typically include:
Medical bills to help the worker pay for medical care
Indemnity wage benefits, also known as the lost wages
Vocational rehabilitation services
In Louisiana, it is the employer’s obligation to pay these benefits to workers either directly or through an insurance provider. Unless statutorily exempted, all employers in the state of Louisiana are responsible for covering the cost of medical care and loss of income incurred by their employees as a result of suffering an injury or illness in the course and scope of employment.
The majority of employees in our state are covered by workers’ compensation, including part-time and full-time employees, seasonal workers, and even minors. However, the following categories of workers are specifically exempted under Louisiana law:
Uncompensated officers and directors of certain non-profit organizations
Most real estate salespersons
Most volunteer workers
Sometimes, it can be challenging to determine whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under the law in Louisiana. If you are uncertain about your eligibility for the benefits, contact our workers’ compensation attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana, and get a free case review.
Workers’ Compensation Law in Louisiana: Requirements & Exceptions
Louisiana’s workers’ compensation law covers both physical and mental injuries resulting from work-related accidents or occupational diseases. Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they can prove that their injury or illness arose out of and in the course and scope of employment. In most cases, the fault of the employer or employee plays no role in workers’ compensation cases, though there are some notable exceptions.
Employees may not be entitled to workers’ comp benefits if the injury or illness was the result of their:
Willful intention to cause harm to themselves or others;
Intoxication at the time of the accident (unless the employer encouraged the use of the substance or beverage in question);
Participation in “horseplay” (frivolous behavior); or
Participation in an unprovoked physical altercation where the employee was the aggressor.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied because your employer or their insurance provider believes that your workplace injury was the result of any of the above-mentioned conditions or activities, it’s important to seek out legal counsel.
Filing a Claim for Compensation
Under Louisiana law, employees must report their injury to the employer within 30 days of its occurrence. However, as a rule of thumb, it is best to notify your employer of the workplace accident as soon as possible, because the longer you wait to report the injury, the more difficult it will be to prove that it arose in the course and scope of employment.
Once the employer is notified about the employee’s injury, they have 10 days to report it to their insurance provider by submitting the First Report of Injury or Illness form. If the employer fails to report an employee’s injury within 10 days of learning about it, the employer may be subject to penalties.
After the employer’s insurance provider is notified of the employee’s injury, the insurer will review the submitted information and may launch an investigation to accept or deny the claim. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in Louisiana, which means employees are not required to prove anyone’s fault to obtain benefits. However, if the claim is disputed, the employee may need to file a Disputed Claim for Compensation with the state’s Office of Workers’ Compensation and request a hearing. At the hearing, the employee will typically be required to prove the following three elements:
The accident occurred in the course and scope of employment;
The employee suffered an injury or illness as a result of that accident; and
There is a link between the workplace accident and the injury/illness.
Our knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer can assist you at every step of the workers’ compensation claims process, including but not limited to reporting your injury to the employer and filing a Disputed Claim for Compensation with the Office of Workers’ Compensation.
Dealing with the Denial of Your Workers’ Comp Claim
After your workers’ compensation claim is processed, the employer’s insurance provider can either approve or deny the claim. If your claim is approved, the insurer will inform you of the amount it is willing to pay. You can either accept the proposed amount or negotiate a higher settlement amount.
If your claim is denied, consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options. Depending on your situation, your attorney may advise you to request a reconsideration or appeal the denial of your claim.
Workers' Compensation Attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana
If you have suffered a workplace injury or were diagnosed with a work-related illness, our team at the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer understands what you are going through. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana, are committed to helping injured workers access the benefits they deserve. We are here to help you with your claim so you can focus on healing and caring for your family. Request a consultation today.