Too Hurt to Work? What You Need to Know about Workers’ Compensation.
An injury or illness you got on the job can put your life in a state of confusion, especially if you can’t go back to work. Workers’ compensation benefits help you maintain the lifestyle you’ve earned—but dealing with the workers’ comp system just leaves you with more questions.
As soon as you bring up your on-the-job injury, your boss starts feeling like a foe, not a friend. You thought the insurance company would support you in times like this, but it doesn’t seem interested in anything other than its bottom line.
What can you do if your employer and their insurance company are fighting you?
When no one’s on your side, it’s time to get a lawyer who has your back.
At Mitchell & Associates, we understand you have a lot of questions, and we make it our mission to help you understand the workers’ comp process, so you can get the benefit checks and medical care you need to move past a difficult time.
For answers to common workers’ comp questions in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, keep reading.
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Comp Work in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, you’re entitled to workers’ comp benefits if you get injured on the job. Most jobs are covered. You get those benefits whether you’re a full-time, part-time or seasonal worker.
Or at least, that’s how it should work.
Sometimes workers’ comp denies your benefits or gives you less than it should.
Because workers’ comp has its own regulations and legal system (including special courts and judges), submitting a claim to fight a denial can feel intimidating.
When you don’t know where to begin or what to do next, let Mitchell & Associates help you cut through the confusion.
What Does Workers’ Comp Provide?
In Louisiana, there are three types of workers’ comp benefits:
- Indemnity benefits, or payment of as much as two-thirds of your lost wages (up to a certain limit; in 2018-19 it was set at $665 per week).
- Payment for medical expenses related to your injury, which includes doctor visits, prescription medications and travel for medical appointments.
- Orientation for a new job if your injury prevents you from performing your current one. (But contact a workers’ comp lawyer to make sure your employer doesn’t use vocational rehabilitation to get you off workers’ comp before you’re ready.)
These benefits are designed to help you keep up with your basic expenses when you’re Too Hurt To Work™. But to get the benefits you deserve, you need to act fast following your on-the-job injury.
What Should I Do after Getting Hurt on the Job?
You might be tempted to think you’re being a bad employee—complaining or causing trouble—if you report getting hurt on the job. Nothing is further from the truth.
You’re entitled to workers’ comp benefits under the law, and one of the first things you must do after an injury is report it to your boss.
In Louisiana, you only have 30 days after your incident to report it. That means you need to move quickly to ensure you don’t miss out on the benefits you deserve.
You also need to get medical help right away.
And once you’ve taken care of your immediate health issues, write down how the injury happened in as much detail as possible. This will be helpful for your claim later on.
Your boss is required to file an injury report to the insurance company. You also should ask for a copy of the report for your own records.
Why Should I Get a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
When your employer and the insurance company are working against you, you have two choices: run the risk of losing your hard-earned benefits, or get a workers’ comp lawyer who will fight back.
You can’t be expected to understand the complicated workers’ comp system. You don’t deal with this every day. But an experienced workers’ comp lawyer does. Your attorney can make sure:
- Insurance pays for your doctor of choice.
- Health care providers document your case thoroughly.
- Your employer submits all the correct forms.
- You meet all required deadlines.
- Your insurance issues timely payments for lost wages.
- Your insurance pays for the full treatment cost and doesn’t try to short-change you.
- A claims adjuster doesn’t terminate your benefits prematurely.
When the process feels overwhelming, the lawyers at Mitchell & Associates are on your side. We’ll put our 50+ years of combined experience to work helping you reach a more peaceful place in life.