Workers Compensation in Louisiana
All full-time employees, seasonal employees, and part-time employees in New Orleans must be covered by Louisiana workers compensation insurance. Exemptions from New Orleans workers compensation include most real estate agents, uncompensated directors, and officers at certain nonprofits, domestic employees, and public officials.
Employers in the state of Louisiana must provide workers compensation benefits to their employees through private insurance or must self-insure. Both mental and physical illnesses and injuries that occur during the course of employment are eligible for benefits, regardless of fault. Under workers compensation in the state of Louisiana, when an employee is injured on the job or suffers a job-related illness, he or she is entitled to receive medical care for work-related injuries or illnesses, as well as a portion of his or her lost wages and vocational rehabilitation services.
The goal of workers compensation in Louisiana is to make sure employees that are injured on the job or become ill as a result of their employment receive adequate medical care as well as lost wages related to the injury or illness. Additionally, workers who require retraining to qualify for a different type of job (when they are no longer able to perform the type of work they did prior to the illness or injury) may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services.
The “tradeoff” for the employee is that he or she gives up the right to sue the employer for any recovery, including damages related to pain and suffering. Further, the employee will only receive approximately 2/3rds of their lost wages. The only exception to workers compensation cases is when an employer is responsible for an intentional act which resulted in the death or injury of an employee. If this is the case, the employee has the right to sue the employer for pain and suffering.
How Attorney Peter Diiorio Can Help with a Workers Compensation Claim
Most injured workers in the state of Louisiana will benefit greatly from representation by a qualified Louisiana workers compensation attorney. In fact, the only time an employee that has been injured on the job or has developed a work-related illness does not need to hire a New Orleans workers compensation attorney is when the injury or illness is very minor, results in few days off work, and resolves itself very quickly. The state of Louisiana has a 20 percent limit on workers compensation attorney fees, making the benefits of legal representation far more than the costs. Unfortunately, most of those who are injured on the job, or have suffered a work-related illness, wait far too long before contacting an attorney.
The insurance company is likely to devalue the employee’s claim, threatening the rights and the future of the employee. The insurance company will send the employee to the doctor of its choice, in an effort to limit—or even eliminate—the claim. The insurance company may also deny appropriate medical care for the injured employee which could result in permanent negative health consequences. The insurance company could also pressure the employee to return to work in order to eliminate indemnity payments (also known as lost wage benefits), improperly calculate the amount and/or the number of payments due to the employee, pressure the injured employee to take a low settlement, or falsely tell the employee that if he or she does not take the low offer, they will receive nothing. When an employee is not represented by a highly-skilled Louisiana workers compensation attorney like Peter J. Diiorio, then that individual is not protected by the Louisiana workers compensation laws.
Attorney Peter J. Diiorio understands that insurance companies are much more interested in profits than in paying injured workers the benefits they are entitled to receive. Further, since the employer and the workers compensation insurance company will have lawyers working for them, who will protect the rights of the employee? In addition to working hard to minimize the benefits the employee receives, the insurance adjuster simply does not have the interests of the employee at heart, and, in many cases, neither does the employer. Some employers will even go so far as to try and convince the employee there really was no serious injury, or that it is not in the best interests of the employee to report an accident or injuries.
Peter J. Diiorio is a highly qualified Louisiana workers’ compensation attorney who knows exactly how to deal with and handle the workers compensation insurance companies, including their adjusters and lawyers. The New Orleans Legal team will ensure an injured employee receives his or her workers compensation benefits in a timely manner, maximizing the recovery whenever possible. It is important to note that when it is time to settle a New Orleans workers comp claim, the New Orleans Legal attorneys will virtually always recover much more than the employee would recover on his or her own, even after the attorney’s 20 percent fee is taken out. In short, it is virtually always in the interest of an injured New Orleans employee to hire an attorney from New Orleans Legal as quickly as possible.
FAQs Regarding New Orleans Workers Compensation
What injuries are covered under Louisiana workers compensation?
Under workers compensation laws in the state of Louisiana, both physical injuries, as well as mental injuries that result from a work-related accident or an occupational illness, are covered. That being said, a mental injury must be the result of a physical injury or a sudden, extraordinary employment-related stress. Occupational diseases are those related to an employee’s workplace or a specific trade or occupation that exposes the employee to the disease. The cause of the injury must be directly related to the employment of the employee. In general, employee or employer fault is not a factor in compensation unless:
- The employee willfully injured himself or herself
- Intoxication was involved in the employee’s injury
- The employee was involved in a physical altercation in which he or she was the aggressor
- The employee was participating in workplace horseplay when the injury happened
How are Louisiana workers compensation benefits paid?
If it is determined that the employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, meaning the employee has been unable to return to work as a result of the injury or illness for more than seven days, the first payment for Temporary Total Disability, death, or Permanent Total Disability will be due on the fourteenth day after the insurer has been notified of the work injury or death. For the length of the TTD, the employee will be paid compensation equal to 66 and 2/3rds percent of his or her average weekly wage (subject to a minimum and maximum amount). If the employee is able to return to work but unable to earn at least 90 percent of pre-injury wages, he or she may be entitled to Supplemental Earnings Benefits.
What happens when an employee dies in a work-related accident or from a work-related illness?
When an at-work accident causes an employee injury, or the employee suffers from an occupational illness, should the employee die within two years of his or her last treatment, immediate family members (spouse and/or dependent children) may be entitled to receive weekly workers compensation benefits.
Getting the Help You Need for Your New Orleans Workers Compensation Claim
At New Orleans Legal, our attorneys help those who have been injured at work collect the workers compensation benefits they are entitled to receive. We fight to make sure our workers compensation clients receive lost wages, have their medical bills paid, and receive all necessary medical care. Many workers compensation injuries can be catastrophic—or even fatal—changing lives forever. We will be a strong advocate for our clients, fighting hard for their rights and their futures. Contact New Orleans Legal today to speak to Peter J. Diiorio, a strong workers compensation lawyer who believes in advocating intensely for every client. New Orleans Legal–Solving Problems, Making Things Right.