If you work in Louisiana, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits if you suffer an accidental injury while on the job. Whether you live in Louisiana or commute to work from a neighboring state such as Mississippi, you're entitled to these. But what are your options if your employer or the insurance company doesn't deliver any or all of the benefits you're entitled to?
What Injuries Does Workers' Compensation Cover?
Workers' Compensation covers physical and mental injuries caused by on-the-job accidents or occupation-related diseases. Mental injuries are generally harder to prove; they must result from physical injuries caused by an on-the-job accident or extraordinary employment-related stress.
Note that workers' compensation covers “accidental” injuries. This has its own legal definition: an “accident” is considered to be something that is an “unexpected or unforeseen actual, identifiable, precipitous event happening suddenly or violently, with or without human fault, and directly producing at the time objective findings of an injury which is more than simply a gradual deterioration or progressive degeneration.”
What Benefits Can I Receive?
First, it's important to understand the benefits that workers' compensation insurance can deliver to an injured worker. These can include payment for your medical care, disability compensation to help you with your lost wages while you're recovering, money to cover physical therapy or other rehabilitation costs, and in the event of your death, benefits paid to your survivors.
What Problems Can Occur?
Issues with workers' compensation benefits include your employer or its insurer denying your claim for benefits completely; refusing to pay for all or part of your medical treatment; refusing to authorize necessary medical treatment; paying you less than you are entitled to; stopping payments prematurely; or refusing to authorize rehabilitation services. Of course, if any of these things happen, you can find yourself facing physical, emotional, and financial problems that may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy these kinds of difficult situations.
One way to resolve workers' compensation coverage disputes is by filing a Disputed Claim for Compensation through the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration. This starts a process that resembles a court case and is decided by a Louisiana Workers' Compensation Judge. It can typically take six to nine months before a judge decides the case, and decisions can be appealed.
It is an unfortunate fact that while a disputed claim is being decided, the disputed benefits won't be paid. This can create an obvious hardship for anyone injured by a work-related accident and unable to return to work due to their injury. Because of this and the uncertainties that come with resolving a disputed claim for compensation, it is not unusual for these kinds of claims to be settled before a Workers' Compensation Judge has decided the matter.
Delsa Law Firm, LLC, Can Help
Having an experienced workers' compensation benefits lawyer working with you to resolve matters can help move things along more quickly. At Delsa Law Firm, LLC, we have been successfully taking on employers and insurers on behalf of workers injured in workplace accidents for years.
One thing that is vitally important if you are injured in a workplace accident is to make sure you file your claim for benefits on time. Generally speaking, you should file any claims for unpaid benefits within one year of when you were injured on the job; while there are some exceptions to this, you should
speak with Attorney Delsa about your situation to learn more about what you need to do and when.
Contact Delsa Law Firm, LLC
At Delsa Law Firm, LLC, we have been representing employees involved in workers' compensation disputes for clients from Louisiana and Mississippi for years. We've helped hard-working people like yourself who were injured in on-the-job accidents receive the benefits they were entitled to, and we can help you too. We are conveniently located near the intersection of interstates 10, 12, and 59 in Slidell, Louisiana. Call us at (985) 882-1222, or use our contact form to schedule a free, no obligation consultation; we are here to listen and help.