What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation
Whether you work in an oilfield or simply have an office job, there is always the risk of a workplace injury. If this happens, you will be entitled to receive certain benefits under the Louisiana workers’ compensation program. Here is some information on how the program works and the types of benefits you may be able to obtain.
How It Works
If you suffer an injury or a workplace-related illness, you will first need to report the problem to your employer. Even if you think you can work through your issue, you’ll still need to report it. The employer will then be required to fill out a “First Report of Injury” form and send it to its insurance carrier. The insurer will send the form to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. It will be very important to remember to have a copy of the form so you have a record of not only when the incident occurred, but also when you reported the incident.
It will also be crucial to obtain medical help as soon as you can. You have the right to see any doctor you choose, even though your employer may want you to visit the company’s physician. However, it’s important to note that if you go to a doctor other than one used by your company, you will have to obtain approval from the company or its insurance carrier for the doctor to treat you if the cost will be over $750 in value. The only exception is if you need emergency treatment.
Your Potential Benefits
Whether you are a part-time worker, a seasonal employee or you have full-time employment status, you will very likely be covered under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act your first day on the job. These are the four main kinds of benefits that employees can receive if they are hurt at work.
- Income replacement — You will receive two-thirds of the amount of your average weekly pay — averaged over the four weeks before the accident/illness — while you recuperate. There is a cap, however, of $630 a week under the workers’ comp program in Louisiana.
- Medical costs — You will be covered for any treatment you need that is related to your injury, including physical therapy, prescription medicine, surgery and more.
- Mileage — You will also be eligible for reimbursement of mileage associated with traveling to and from your treatment appointments and driving to have your prescriptions filled.
- Vocational rehab — If you can no longer perform your job because of your injury, your company’s insurance carrier must connect you with a vocational rehabilitation professional who can identify positions in your area that match your physical ability and skills.
When to Call a Lawyer
There are times, however, where injured workers have a very difficult time obtaining all of the workers’ comp benefits to which they are entitled. If you find yourself in this situation, Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm may be able to help. Please call 1-800-7500-LAW or contact us online to learn more.