If you are employed in Louisiana, even if you commute in from a neighboring state such as Mississippi, Texas, or Arkansas, you are probably covered by Louisiana's workers' compensation system (some jobs are exempt from coverage, but most jobs require employers to cover their workers). It's important to understand some of the main aspects of Louisiana's workers' compensation system that may differ from what you're used to seeing in other states.
Choice of Physician
In many states, if you're injured on the job, you can choose your own physician when seeking medical treatment for a covered workplace injury. This is also the case in Louisiana; however, your employer can also require that you also see a specific doctor that they designate. If you see your employer's doctor, you can choose to continue to be treated by that doctor or you can opt for another one. One important thing to know is that once you choose your treating physician, it can be difficult to change to another doctor in that same field of specialty.
Amount of Temporary Weekly Benefits Received
Different states have different maximum benefits available to injured workers. In Louisiana, if you're not able to work because of your injury, you are entitled to a payment of 66-2/3% of your usual weekly wage up to a maximum amount. The maximum possible weekly benefit for accidents under the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023, is $771.00. The maximum changes each September 1st. Each state sets its own maximum temporary disability payment amount, and different states use different percentage calculations to determine what an injured employee is entitled to receive.
Time Limits to File a Claim
In Louisiana, you generally have one year from the date you're injured to file a workers' compensation claim. A number of other states are more generous, allowing more time for injured employees to file their claims. If you're injured on the job in Louisiana, pay close attention to that time limit or you may lose your right to receive benefits.
In Louisiana, if you and your employer have a dispute about your benefits and cannot resolve the issue through negotiation, the matter will be heard by a workers' compensation judge. Other states may use different processes to resolve disputes, such as hearings before a workers' compensation board.
To Make Sure You're Receiving the Benefits You're Entitled to, Call the Delsa Law Firm, LLC
Louisiana's workers' compensation laws and procedures can be confusing and may sometimes seem unfair, especially if you've been injured at work and have to worry about getting better as well as getting paid. Attorney Thomas “Ben” Delsa has years of experience helping hard-working people who have been injured on the job in Louisiana recover the workers' compensation benefits that they're entitled to receive under the law. He knows the law, understands how the system works, and most importantly, is ready to help you get the benefits you need.