What Workers' Compensation Benefits are Available to Injury Victims in Monroe?
Employers in Louisiana are required by law to carry workers' compensation insurance to help pay the medical expenses, and cover lost wages of injured employees. The extent and duration of your benefits depend on the nature of your injury and what is needed to completely recover.
Employers are expected to provide medical treatment to workers for accidents related to work. You will usually choose your own doctor, but your employer can then choose a second medical opinion from their doctor.
In most cases, by delays, rejection, and even restricting the acceptance of your medication and medical testing, the employer's insurance provider will try to pay the least amount of money possible.
Bruscato has the experience to help you manage this process and collaborate to speed up your recovery procedures with your physicians and therapists.
Lost wages and income
If you are unable to work because of a workplace injury, then you may be eligible to receive wage loss benefits to make up the difference.
If your ability to work has been compromised and your wages are reduced, you may be eligible for rehabilitation services.
Wrongful death workers' compensation benefits may be available if you die within a specific period of time following the accident.
Types of Disability Benefits
As required by Louisiana law, all employers have to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees. The workers' compensation act was put into place to provide injured workers with medical benefits and replacement for a portion of lost wages.
Every case is unique, and the type of benefits you may be eligible for will fall into one of the following categories:
- Temporary Disability Benefits: These benefits are available to you if you can only partially perform your work tasks. These benefits are for injured employees who need at least seven days to recover. The injured will not receive compensation for the first seven days unless more than two weeks of work is missed. At that point, compensation is up to $657 per week.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: These benefits are available if you've lost the use of a body part or function that partially limits your ability to work. Examples include the loss of vision or hearing or amputation of a body part, like your arms, legs, feet, hands, or otherwise. This benefit is also equivalent to two-thirds of your weekly wages.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits: These benefits are for injured employees who absolutely cannot work any type of job at all, even if it doesn't align with their given experience, education, or other types of qualifications. What's deemed permanent or not can vary and there are also lots of exceptions and clauses to permanent disability. One of those is that people who have suffered catastrophic injuries can also receive a one-time payment of $500,000 in addition to other damages.
- Disfigurement Benefits: These benefits are available as compensation if your workplace injury resulted in disfigurement or the specific loss of a body part or limb. Payment will depend on the nature of the injury and the body part(s) affected.
Returning to Work:
In some cases, after you've recovered and are ready to go back to work, you may no longer be able to perform the essential duties of your former position. In this situation, your employer may help you find a new position within the same company. Louisiana Code section 23:1221 states that if the new position pays less than your former role, you may be eligible for weekly payments to make up the difference in pay to compensate for wage loss.
Types of Workers' Compensation Cases We Handle
If you've been injured on the job or developed an illness or disease because of your work, Bruscato is here to help. We handle all workers' compensation cases including, but not limited to:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Back injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Catastrophic injuries and disfigurement
- Fatal workplace accidents
- Soft tissue damages
- Construction injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
- Work-related car accidents or truck accidents
Additionally, Bruscato handles compensation for occupational disease.
Compensation for Occupational Diseases
Usually, serious injuries are clear to see. Broken bones, cuts, bruises, and back injuries all typically have symptoms that can be seen and clearly indicated. Sometimes, the damage isn't as noticeable because it's internal. An occupational disease is an example of this type of injury — and compensation is still due.
Occupational diseases involve being exposed to specific environments at work that directly correlate to the illness. There is still a statute of limitations for filing an occupational disease claim with the insurance company. However, there's a bit more leeway since it's not as easy to detect.
Claims must be filed within one year of:
- the employee suspecting that the disease is work-related,
- the disease manifesting itself,
- the employee is disabled as a result of the disease, or
- the employee is dying from the disease.
How Do I Recover Workers' Compensation in Monroe?
If you've been injured at work, there are several vital steps to take to protect your right to compensation.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
No matter how serious the injury, you must always report it. Even if you think it's minor or that it might heal on its own with time, you must report any injury to your manager. The statute of limitations says you must report your injury within 30 days of the accident taking place.
Seek Medical Attention
Your first concern is your safety. If your injury is an emergency, seek treatment as soon as possible from a local clinic or emergency room. If your injury was not an emergency, seek medical assistance from the appropriate specialist or doctor as soon as you can.
File Your Workers' Compensation Claim
After you report your injury to your employer, they will typically file a workers' comp claim on your behalf with their insurance company. Your manager or supervisor will prepare a "First Report of Injury" after first hearing about the accident. From there, your employer will file the report with their insurer, who then submits this form to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Speak With a Workers' Comp Lawyer in Monroe for Your Free Case Review!
Navigating the legal system while you or a loved one is trying to recover from a work-related injury can be complicated. That's why it's crucial to hire an attorney at law who can help you alleviate that stress and take the right steps towards seeking justice.
John Bruscato is an experienced workers' compensation Lawyer who handles personal injury, workers’ comp, and Social Security Disability claims. Contact our law offices today for legal representation to help you file your workers' comp claim and receive fair compensation for your workplace injury.
Call 318-855-1613 today to schedule a free consultation, and we'll discuss the options for pursuing your legal rights to compensation.