In the state of Louisiana, the workers’ compensation program can help pay for medical bills and reimburse you for some of your lost wages if you were injured in the course and scope of your employment. While this program can help keep an injured person afloat during their recovery, benefits are not permanent. The length of time you receive benefits can vary. The nature of your injury and whether you are permanently disabled can affect how much you receive and for how long. For example, a person who has lost their hand at work (permanent partial disability) could receive up to 150 weeks of benefits. Similarly, if one were to lose 15% of their hand their benefits could end after 15 weeks.
Workers’ compensation programs, including Louisiana’s are quite complex. The program’s benefits are fixed by state law and it impedes an injured worker from suing their employer for pain and suffering. While there are drawbacks to this program, workers can receive compensation more quickly than they would if they were to petition the courts in a civil matter. Moreover, workers’ compensation will provide benefits to injured employees even if they are at fault for their injuries.
What can workers’ compensation cover?
The severity of a person’s injury coupled with whether their condition is permanent will affect the type of benefits a worker receives. Following are common benefits an injured worker can receive in Louisiana:
If your injury prevents you from resuming the same type of employment or if you take a position that pays less than your previous one, you could receive supplemental earnings benefits. This type of benefit pays two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury wages and your current ones. Supplemental earning benefits can be paid for up to 520 weeks.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disability benefits will pay two-thirds of your average weekly wages until your condition improves enough to return to work. State law caps these weekly payments at $657, which affects workers who made more than $51,000 annually.
When your claim is approved, workers’ compensation will pay for reasonable medical treatment including surgeries related to your injury so long as it is authorized treatment.
Sometimes injured workers have to travel quite a bit to see doctors and specialists. Mileage to these appointments can be reimbursed by the workers’ compensation program.
Death Benefits and Funeral Expenses
If a work-related injury results in loss of life, workers’ compensation can cover funeral expenses up to $8,500. A worker’s spouse and dependents may also be able to receive weekly death benefits until a spouse remarries or until a dependent is 18.
How Hiring a Lawyer Can Help
Workers’ compensation programs can be confusing—especially when a worker is seriously injured. Hiring an attorney can help you ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. A workers’ compensation lawyer can assist with completing claims paperwork, monitor the medical evaluation process for accuracy, and advise workers on how to dispute insurance decisions. Our Slidell-based practice is experienced with representing injured workers. If you think you might need an attorney to represent you with your workers’ compensation claims, call Stanley-Wallace Law at (985) 288-4621 to speak with a member of our team.