Louisiana Workers' Compensation Laws
Louisiana may be well-known for Mardi Gras beads and parties, but as a citizen of this Southern gem, you know that Louisiana workers must toil for long hours to bring all of those celebrations to life. Whether you work at a restaurant, in construction, or one of Louisiana's high-tech emerging industries, you love going to work every day and contributing to the production of goods. Fortunately for you, Louisiana respects your hard work; and if you are injured at work, Louisiana workers' compensation laws are fairly generous.
The table and accompanying explanations below summarize the important components of Louisiana workers' compensation laws.
Statute of Limitations
Workers' Compensation Benefits
Louisiana provides both coverage for medical care and compensation for your time away from work due an injury from an accident at work for most workers, with some exemptions. Compensation varies based on the extent to which your injury impacts your ability to work. In the event of your death, benefits may be paid to your survivors.
Unlike many states, Louisiana does not cap the amount you can receive. How much you will receive depends on your level of disability.
In most cases, you must give your employer notice of your injury within 30 days or be barred from receiving benefits. Additionally, in most cases, claims for payments must be made within one year of the accident that caused the injury. All claims absolutely must be made within three years of the date of the accident that caused the disability.
If your injury results in disability which lasts for less than 2 weeks, you are entitled to compensation beginning during the second week. However, if your disability lasts for 2 weeks or more, you will receive compensation for the first week after two weeks.
Types of Injures Covered
Both mental and physical injuries from either accidents or occupational diseases are covered. However, mental injuries must be the result of a physical injury or of a sudden, unexpected and extraordinary stress related to the employment.
How Workers' Compensation Benefits are Calculated
Your compensation rate (CR) is determined by your average weekly wage. For permanent total disability, temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, you will receive 66 2/3 percent of your average wages. If an injury leaves you unable to earn wages equal to 90 percent of your wages at the time of injury, you are entitled to supplemental earning benefits equal to 66 2/3 percent of the difference between you average monthly wages at the time of the injury and current average monthly wages. Benefits are limited to 520 weeks.
If your injury leaves you permanently partially disabled, compensation is based on the type of loss. For example, for the loss of a thumb, permanent partial disability compensation is 66 2/3 percent of wages for 50 weeks. If you suffered a catastrophic injury, you may be entitled to a one time catastrophic injury payment of $50,000. If you die, your surviving beneficiaries may recover a maximum of $8,500 in burial expenses in addition to other compensation.
Unfortunately, Louisiana employers may not be required to keep your job available for you to return to when you are healthy enough to return to work. However, you cannot be fired simply because you file a workers' compensation claim.
What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied
If your claim for workers' compensation benefits is denied, one option is to file a Disputed Claim for Compensation. This is an administrative law proceeding, and the process could take six or more months. You would likely want to work with an attorney during this process to insure that your rights are protected.
Trouble With Your Workers' Comp Claim? A Louisiana Attorney Can Help
Louisiana protects workers by not capping the amount of weekly disability benefits workers may recover. However, the way that compensation is calculated is complicated, and you may be entitled to additional compensation if you were catastrophically injured. To insure that you receive all the compensation you are legally entitled to receive, get in touch with a Louisiana injury attorney.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.