Every worker is supposed to be protected by workers’ compensation insurance, which provides compensation for medical bills and lost wages if you are injured on the job.
It does not matter how long you have worked for a company or what kind of company you work for—every company is required to have some form of workers’ compensation insurance to cover the needs of injured workers.
Even if you are an undocumented worker—you have an absolute legal right to workers’ compensation if you are injured on the job.
If you find yourself suffering from an injury you sustained at work, you need to know that Louisiana has robust laws that protect your rights as a worker and clearly set forth the circumstances in which your employer is responsible to compensate you for your injuries, temporary or permanent disability, medical bills and time off from work due to your injuries.
As you begin to navigate this situation, it is crucial that you make the important decision to obtain the representation of an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer to help you pursue your claim. When you hire an attorney, your employer or their insurance company can no longer deal directly with you about your claim—they must speak to your attorney instead. This can greatly reduce your stress when dealing with a workers’ compensation claim, by lessening any uncomfortable feelings in the workplace, alleviating any potential pressure on you to drop your claim or accept much less than your claim is worth, and empowering you with expert knowledge, advice and strategy.
When you choose to work with Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson, we will dedicate our years of experience successfully recovering compensation for thousands of injured Louisiana workers. We offer contingency fee arrangements, so you can confidently retain a skilled legal team without worrying about how you are going to afford legal fees.
Louisiana’s workers’ compensation law protects workers who are injured while working in the scope of their employment. While this covers many circumstances, it does not necessarily cover every conceivable circumstance that may arise. For example, Louisiana courts have ruled that employees who are injured by a criminal assailant while at work are not covered by Louisiana’s workers’ compensation law.
Some common situations that are covered include:
These examples are not exhaustive and there are many other situations that may give rise to a compensable workers’ compensation claim. There are other situations, like injuries sustained on your commute to work, which are not likely to be covered by Louisiana’s workers’ compensation law because the injury occurred outside the scope of your employment.
In Louisiana, if you are injured at work, you need to report your injuries to your supervisor. Your supervisor will file an injury report and it will be reviewed by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider.
The insurance adjuster must promptly deny or approve your claim. If your claim is approved, all of your treatment and medical bills should be covered by your employer’s insurance. However, it is often not so simple. Even if your claim is approved by the insurance adjuster, it is common for them to become very involved in your treatment and they may initially approve treatment and later deny future treatment, even if you are still experiencing symptoms.
Furthermore, in addition to the treatment you require in order to recover from your injuries, you may have suffered from some degree of temporary or permanent disability, which you are entitled to be compensated for in addition to having your medical bills covered. More often than not, injured workers need help navigating the system and demanding the full compensation they are legally entitled to.
At Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson, every day we represent individuals who have been injured at work. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation law can be a bit of a game—one that insurance defense firms have made an art form. You may have a great relationship with your employer, but when you file a workers’ compensation claim, your case is really against their insurance company, as employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
The number one goal of the insurance company is to mitigate their liability and pay you as little as possible. As a result, they may initially offer you zero compensation for your claim and try to convince you that you simply are not legally entitled to compensation. Alternatively, they may offer you much less than your claim if worth, claiming that you had a preexisting or subsequent injury to the accident in question and that accident is responsible for most of your injuries.
The insurance company may also hire an expert medical witness that is likely to render an opinion in their favor, even if many or most physicians would opine in your favor. If you are not familiar with the games that insurance companies play or confident about the value of your claim, it is very easy for the insurance companies to take advantage of your inexperience.
However, if you are represented by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, the playing field is quickly leveled. Your attorney will look closely at all of the evidence in your case and determine what your claim is worth. If any medical expert reports or opinions are necessary to support your claim, your attorney will find a medical expert to review all of your records and, possibly, examine you.
There are some cases when the workers’ compensation system functions as it should. You get hurt, you apply for workers’ compensation, and you receive the proper amount of compensation.
However, in many cases, it is a good idea to get advice from a workers’ compensation attorney immediately after your injury if:
Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson, LLC, is a New Orleans law firm with decades-long roots in the state of Louisiana. Our attorneys have more than 15 years of experience representing personal injury plaintiffs, and we are known as aggressive and compassionate advocates on behalf of our clients.
If you or a loved one have been injured at work, do not navigate this process alone. Our contingency fee structure allows you to hire an experienced and knowledgeable Louisiana workers’ compensation attorney without any financial risk to you. We provide free consultations in workers’ compensation cases, and we do not collect attorneys’ fees unless and until we succeed in your case. Attorneys’ fees in workers’ compensation cases are set by law.
To speak with one of our attorneys, contact Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson, LLC, to schedule a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation case.