After suffering an injury on the job, the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and understanding what your rights are can be overwhelming.
Here are a few things you should know about the process and your rights:
- The insurance carrier that your employer has it’s policy of workers’ compensation coverage through must deem your claim as “compensable” before benefits will be initiated. If your claim is deemed not compensable, you are entitled to a hearing in front of a workers’ compensation judge.
- If your doctor gives you restrictions for returning to work such as sedentary, light, or medium duty and your job cannot accommodate the restriction, you will be entitled to 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wage.
- If your doctor thinks you are too injured to work at all, you will be paid 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wage. This number has a cap that changes every year.
- If your employer does accommodate the restriction but pays you a rate lower than what you were earning pre-injury, you will be entitled to Supplemental Earning Benefits. These benefits are the difference between what your modified job duty pays and 90% of your pre-accident weekly wage. These benefits also have a cap.
- The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act gives you the right to choose your own doctor.
- In Louisiana, injured workers are entitled to be reimbursed for mileage for trips to doctors appointments, physical therapy appointments, pharmacy visits, and vocational rehabilitation meetings. Reimbursement is currently .51 cents per mile.
- You are not allowed to receive workers’ compensation benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time. There is a week for week forfeiture of workers’ compensation benefits when you receive unemployment benefits.
- Independent contractors may be entitled to workers’ compensation in some circumstances. For instance, an employee with a job that is categorized as manual labor will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to check with a lawyer to determine if you’re an independent contractor or a regular employee, no matter how your employer classifies your status.