Baton Rouge Workers Compensation Lawyer

Dufour Law Firm > Baton Rouge Personal Injury Lawyer > Baton Rouge Workers Compensation Lawyer

Employees have the right to a safe workplace. In Louisiana and Baton Rouge, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides employees with certain benefits if they are injured while at work. Workers’ compensation insurance also protects employers from facing civil personal injury claims due to hazards in the workplace. When you are injured at work, a Baton Rouge workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the process of a claim.

Whether or not your job has inherent hazards, employers are required to take steps to mitigate dangers and create a safe environment. If you are injured at work, you are able to file a claim with your employer’s insurance provider to cover medical costs, a portion of your lost wages during recovery, and some other losses.

Navigating the process should be straightforward, but it can often be complex. It can be even more complicated if an employer or insurance provider denies a valid claim. Managing this situation can be difficult as you attempt to recover, but a workers’ compensation attorney is useful to navigate and negotiate your claim and could secure the compensation you deserve.

Defending Injured Employees in Baton Rouge

At Dufour Law Firm, our team has more than 40 years of combined experience protecting the rights of injured individuals. We believe that you should not have to handle a workers’ compensation claim alone.

Our team is prepared to advocate for you and provide compassionate yet diligent representation. We have experience in state and federal workers’ compensation laws and have managed the unique challenges of maritime workers’ compensation cases. We have represented many employees in many industries in our community.

We negotiate for fair compensation and are dedicated to upholding your rights. If you are denied for a good faith claim, we can work to appeal the claim or explore other options for compensation. Our team wants to support you during this difficult time and help you obtain the benefits you are owed. When you have been injured on the job, Dufour Law Firm can bring the caring legal support you need.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Laws in Louisiana

Louisiana workers’ compensation provides medical benefits and other benefits to employees who suffer an injury or developmental illness in the workplace. To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, an individual must:

  1. Be an employee who qualifies for workers’ compensation. Workers such as independent contractors and domestic employees do not qualify for workers’ compensation.
  2. Have an employer who carries workers’ compensation insurance. Some employers are not required to have this insurance, such as certain agricultural employers. Other employers may self-insure their workers.
  3. Have obtained the injury through the course of their employment and work-related duties. Workers’ compensation will not cover injuries caused outside of work or due to an employee’s own misconduct.

When you are injured on the job, it is important to report the injury to your employer soon and then discuss it with an attorney.

What Types of Injuries and Illnesses Are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation pays for injuries caused by onsite accidents, as well as illnesses or developmental conditions caused by or worsened by an employee’s job duties. If an employee had an existing injury that was worsened by their work, this is also covered. Common injuries and conditions include:

  • Head and traumatic brain injuries. These injuries are often caused by falls, falling objects, or work-related car accidents. A concussion is a minor form of traumatic brain injury. More serious brain injuries can cause an employee to have less control over their movements, difficulty speaking, or other debilitating effects.
  • Amputations. These injuries can occur from crushing accidents and accidents with dangerous machinery.
  • Repetitive motion injuries. These injuries are caused by a repetitive strain or a repeated motion that harms tendons, nerves, and muscles. Employees who work in an assembly line and make the same motion for many hours are susceptible to repetitive motion injuries, as well as employees who often lift items and type. Muscle sprains, strains, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel are common injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries. These injuries may result from slip and fall injuries and can cause partial or total paralysis at their most severe.
  • Hearing loss. Employees on loud construction sites or other high-noise worksites should be provided proper protection. Otherwise, they could suffer tinnitus and hearing loss.
  • Toxic exposure illnesses. Some employees are exposed to toxic chemicals and materials. Employers should provide effective personal protection, ventilation, and other safety precautions. Employees who are exposed to toxic substances can suffer lung damage like black lung or mesothelioma, as well as other developmental illnesses and cancers.
  • Non-physical injuries. In Louisiana, workers’ compensation covers mental injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, but only if those mental and emotional damages are in connection with a physical injury.

Other work-related injuries that fall under workers’ compensation include:

  • Bone fractures and breaks
  • Burn injuries
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Vision loss
  • Organ damage
  • Lacerations
  • Muscle, nerve, and soft-tissue injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement

What Causes Workplace Injuries?

Injuries can be caused by defective machines or machine components, a lack of safety training or personal protective gear, or premises hazards on the worksite. Even if there is no one at fault for the incident, the employee can still file for workers’ compensation. Unlike a personal injury claim, an employee does not have to prove negligence to receive benefits.

Even if an employee acted negligently, they may still recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, if an employee purposefully caused the injury or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job, a workers’ compensation claim will likely be unsuccessful.

How Much Workers’ Compensation Do You Get in Louisiana?

The benefits you receive in a workers’ compensation claim will depend on the severity of your injury, how long you are unable to return to work, and how much you were making prior to being injured.

You receive benefits for your losses after a workplace accident, and these benefits could include:

  • Medical Benefits: Any medical services you require because of your injury are covered by workers’ compensation. This includes hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medical devices, prescription costs, physical therapy, and any other relevant medical costs. Continued and ongoing costs, such as long-term care or follow-up medical needs, could also be covered.
  • Wage Replacement: These benefits are also called temporary total disability benefits and are meant to provide an employee with lost wages if they are unable to return to work temporarily because of their injury or illness. Wage replacement can cover up to ⅔ of an employee’s average weekly wages until the employee can return to work.
  • Supplemental Earnings: These benefits are also called temporary partial disability benefits and apply when an employee is able to return to work, but only in a limited capacity. An employee may need limited hours or to take on a different, less-intensive job while they recover.

    If an employee is earning less than 90% of their average weekly wages due to their injury or illness, they could receive these benefits. These benefits are ⅔ the difference between the employee’s average weekly wages and the amount they are currently earning.

  • Disability Benefits: Permanent total disability or permanent partial disability benefits are necessary when an injury or illness will impact an employee for the rest of their life and prevent them from maintaining any gainful employment. Most of these benefits provide for ⅔ the employee’s average weekly wages for a period of time determined based on the severity of the injury and disability. Depending on the injury, benefits may last permanently or between 50 and 200 weeks.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: If an employee has been injured or disabled and has limited ability to complete their work, workers’ compensation may provide rehabilitation benefits to retrain the employee.
  • Death Benefits: If an employee is killed because of an accident or an injury sustained at work, workers’ compensation benefits can provide for reasonable funeral and burial expenses. Surviving dependents can also receive a portion of the employee’s wages.

An attorney is vital in helping you obtain the compensation you deserve based on your injuries.

Why Do I Need a Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get the benefits you deserve in a workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation insurance provider prioritizes limiting the payout for workers’ injuries and could undervalue the costs of your injury. Many employees are unaware of their claim’s value and will accept a low offer. An attorney can help prevent this by calculating the extent of your damages and negotiating with the insurance provider to obtain what you deserve.

In some cases, an employer may claim that your accident or injury was not work-related or that you sustained it intentionally. This can feel upsetting and unfair, but an attorney knows how to navigate disputes and issues with a workers’ compensation claim. They can also review your case to determine if you qualify for a personal injury claim against a third party.

A workers’ compensation attorney has the resources and knowledge needed to structure your claim properly. They help you gather evidence and documentation to create the strongest claim possible.

Find Compassionate Legal Care At Dufour Law Firm

If you have been injured at work, inform your employer as soon as possible. Then, find an experienced attorney to determine your next steps. Contact Dufour Law Firm today to see how we can help with your workers’ compensation claim.

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