Louisiana Workers Compensation Laws
Whether you’re in construction, engineering, retail, or education, one fact remains: Workplace injuries can happen to anyone, anywhere. These incidents can have lasting effects on your health and well-being. What’s more, they can derail your career and cause serious financial harm. The good news is, most employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Here’s what you should know about this coverage.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees who suffer injuries and illnesses in the course of employment by providing them partial wage replacement and other benefits. In Louisiana, businesses with at least one employee are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance or receive approval for self-insurance. Any employee, whether full time, part time, or seasonal, must be covered.
What Are Disability Benefits?
If you get hurt or sick in the course of your employment and must spend time away from work as a result, you may be entitled to disability benefits such as:
- Temporary Disability: Temporary disability benefits are paid to workers who require more than seven days off work due to an injury or illness. These benefits amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount set by the state. Temporary disability benefits continue until your doctor finds that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning that your condition has improved as much as it’s going to.
- Supplemental Earnings: Employees who are able to return to work but are earning less than 90% of their normal wages may receive supplemental earnings benefits. These benefits amount to two-thirds of the difference between your normal earnings and what you’re able to make following the injury.
- Permanent Total Disability: If your doctor deems you totally and permanently disabled, you may receive weekly payments at the same rate as temporary total disability benefits for as long as the disability continues.
- Permanent Partial Disability: Workers who have suffered the loss of certain body parts such as the eyes, ears, arms, or legs can receive permanent partial disability benefits. These benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage for a period of time determined by the state schedule.
- Catastrophic Injuries: Injuries such as the total loss of both hands, arms, legs, or feet may warrant catastrophic injury damages. These benefits are a one-time award of up to $50,000.
What Other Benefits Are Available Through Workers’ Compensation?
Louisiana workers may also receive additional benefits such as:
- Medical treatment
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from doctor appointments
- Vocational rehabilitation to learn a new marketable skill
- Death benefits for the dependents of a worker who has died
- Up to $8,500 in funeral and burial expenses
What if My Benefits Are Denied?
Employers and their insurance companies have demonstrated time and again that they’re willing to do most anything to reduce their costs, including denying benefits to injured and sick employees. They may argue that your injury took place outside of work or perhaps that it can be connected to a preexisting condition. No matter the case, it’s essential that you have a highly skilled workers’ compensation attorney on your side to help you navigate the process and collect the benefits you are owed.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney It’s important that you understand your rights and how Louisiana workers’ compensation laws apply to you. At Morgan & Morgan, our legal experts have helped workplace injury victims just like you recover the compensation they deserve. Find out how we can help you by filling out a free case evaluation today.