How to Win a Workers’ Compensation Case
Every day, injured workers throughout Louisiana apply for workers’ compensation benefits and eagerly await their due payment. Some of these workers are met with good news while others receive denied workers’ comp claims — even if they have equally valid workplace injuries.
So how can you ensure that yours is one of the successful claims? How do you win a workers’ compensation case? Well, moving past the unavoidable caveat that there are no guarantees in law, let’s jump into some much more useful information. Below, you’ll find the three key steps to winning a workers’ compensation case in Louisiana.
1. Make Sure Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Legitimate.
People tend to lose workers’ compensation cases for one of two reasons: either they 1) fail to report their injury or 2) present their case in such a way that the insurance company interprets the claim to be fraudulent. Avoid both of those mistakes by taking a moment to review what types of injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation in Louisiana:
- On-the-Job Injuries. Whether it’s a back injury, slip and fall, car wreck, loss of limb, or other accident, it should qualify for workers’ compensation so long as it happened at your work (or because of a work-related task).
- Repetitive Stress Injuries. Continually repeating a movement can lead to repetitive stress injuries like tendonitis, bursitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Link such a condition to your work, and you have a valid claim to workers’ compensation benefits.
- Occupational Illnesses. Many work environments expose workers (often, unintentionally) to all kinds of toxins and chemicals that later lead to serious illnesses and cancers. If this has happened to you or a loved one, filing for workers’ comp can not only get you compensated, but it can protect other workers as well.
As you can imagine, some conditions are more difficult to link to your workplace than others — particularly repetitive stress injuries and occupational illnesses. If you’re afraid your claim might be denied (or if, like so many others, you’ve already been denied workers’ comp benefits), get an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side sooner rather than later. My Monroe-based law firm offers free consultations for workers’ compensation cases, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out.
2. Document Your Case Correctly.
To win a workers’ compensation case, you have to start by following Louisiana’s workers’ comp protocols. Namely, this means reporting the incident to your employer within 30 days of the accident (or within 30 days of when you discovered your condition). However, there are other steps you can take to strengthen your case from the get-go:
- Report the injury to your employer within 30 days (this step is mandatory, so it bears repeating)
- Provide details (as requested by your employer) about the events that led up to the injury or illness
- Write down everything you remember about the incident (for your own records)
- Report the incident to your union, if you belong to one
- Consult with an attorney if you have any questions or concerns (if you live in the Monroe area, I invite you to contact my firm, Bruscato Law)
3. If Your Claim Is Denied, File an Appeal.
According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, nearly $62 billion of workers’ compensation coverage was awarded to injured workers in 2016. An encouraging statistic, to be sure, but it fails to illustrate an important truth: thousands of those workers’ comp settlements were only awarded after the original claim was denied.
In other words, a lot of legitimate workers’ comp claims are denied the first time around, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. If you and your attorney decide to file an appeal (that is, formally ask the court to reconsider your original claim), you may get another chance to win your case.
Whether your workers’ comp claim has been denied or you’re concerned that it might get denied, please don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation with Bruscato Law.