Getting injured at work or sick on the job can mean you’re out of work for weeks, months, or even years. And when you lose the paychecks you and your family depend on, paying for your medical bills and day-to-day living expenses can seem difficult or even impossible.
At Dudley DeBosier, our workers’ compensation lawyers know how uncertain your life can be when you can’t work. That’s why we’ll do everything we can to get you the workers’ compensation benefits you need to recover. Just dial (866) 897-8495 or fill out a free initial consultation form, and let us put our years of legal experience to work for you.
Building Your Claim Step by Step
When you’re applying for workers’ compensation benefits, even a minor mistake or a single missed deadline during the filing process can cause your claim to be denied. The Louisiana workers’ comp lawyers at Dudley DeBosier can:
- calculate your current and future medical bills,
- complete the required forms and submit them on time,
- determine your level of disability,
- and more.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim after Being Hurt on the Job
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to any employee that gets injured in the course of their employment. In most situations, it is a requirement for employers to provide workers’ compensation to their employees.
If you get hurt at work it is important to report the workplace injury as soon as possible to make sure the benefits are not interrupted or delayed. After the initial injury report, you have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim. The injured worker should be as specific as possible when first reporting the accident, such as including names of witnesses, location, cause, and time of day of the injury. Next, the injured employee may be required to submit to a medical examination by his employer. After that evaluation however, the employee is entitled to treat with his own choice of physician.
Some “Independent” Medical Examinations for Workers’ Comp May Be Biased
A doctor’s testimony on the claimant's injuries can greatly influence the amount of benefits awarded. To receive workers’ compensation, claimants must receive an independent medical examination or insurance medical exam (IME) by a doctor of the company’s choosing. Insurance companies often use this as a means to limit payouts and liability. Sometimes, assigned doctors can work with insurance companies and deny the existence of an injury or wrongfully clearing an employee to return to work. Injured workers seeking a second professional medical opinion may switch doctors only once.
To ensure that you are receiving a proper examination, it is important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney guide you through the process.
Workers’ Compensation Appeals
Employers may deny a workers' compensation claim for a number of reasons, including:
- They deny that the accident occurred on the job
- They accuse the employee of fabricating or lying about the injury
- They blame the injury on the employee's preexisting condition
If you have a denied workers’ compensation claim, you can avoid a hearing and try to come to an agreed-upon solution internally. In this case, an attorney acts as a mediator between both parties as you try to come to an agreement. If no solution is found, a hearing becomes the next option.
The first step to moving your claim into an official court hearing is filing the correct paperwork with the state of Louisiana. For disputing standard workers’ compensation claims, file form 1008 and if the dispute is over medical benefits, file form 1009.
Once the insurer has received notice of your continued claim, a hearing occurs in which both parties have an opportunity to present evidence, state their case and attempt to discount the other party's argument. This hearing is overseen by a workers’ compensation judge, who mails
out a decision to both parties within 30 days of the hearing's conclusion.
In Louisiana, further appeals are heard by the Circuit Appellate Court, and appeals must be filed federally.
Types of Workplace Accidents We Handle, From Baton Rouge to New Orleans to Shreveport
Some of the common types of injuries our attorneys handle include:
- Head injuries, including concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from falling objects
- Muscular injuries, torn ligaments, rotator cuff sprains and herniated disks from lifting, pushing or other physical activities
- Repetitive stress injuries caused by repeated movements that can damage the nerves, tendons and muscles, including tendonitis and bursitis.
- Bone injuries and amputated or crushed limbs
- Hearing loss or damage
- Construction accidents
- Sickness from exposure to toxins, including mesothelioma or Black Lung
- Various injuries to the spinal cord, back, shoulder, eyes, knees, neck, hip, respiratory organs, ankles, wrists, feet and hands
Such job-related injuries may be the cause of unavoidable accidents, insufficient training, faulty machinery, or hazardous working environments. However, under workers’ compensation, employees are not required to prove the reason that their injury occurred, as workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that compensates injured workers without regard to negligence or fault.
Workers’ Compensation FAQs
What is a “work-related” injury?
These are injuries caused by workplace accidents or directly relating to the nature of a person's occupation. Any injury sustained in the course of doing your job can potentially be a work-related injury and must be treated as one.
What benefits am I entitled to?
You are entitled to necessary medical testing and treatment, as well as rehabilitation services and prescription drugs. You may also be eligible for “wage and hour claims,” payments for time missed because of the accident and other considerations.
Who pays the Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
It is entirely paid by your employer. There are no payroll deductions made.
How much of my wages are covered?
Your employer is responsible for recovering most of the wages lost during unplanned time off as the result of a work-related injury.
Can I sue my employer?
You cannot use the workers’ compensation procedure to sue your employer, but if you think that a third party had any responsibility for your accident, you can file a lawsuit against them.
What if my employer refuses to report my injury?
You may report a claim directly to the insurer in this case.
Dudley DeBosier has an extensive record of getting clients their due in workers’ compensation cases, as well as a record of successfully appealing denied workers compensation claims. Call us today or fill out our free consultation form below.