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The Most Common Workplace
Injuries Covered by
Workers’ Compensation

Get the Help You Deserve After a Workplace Injury in New Orleans

Workplace injuries can be life-disrupting, leaving you with physical limitations and financial burdens. If you’ve been injured on the job in New Orleans, a workers’ compensation attorney in New Orleans can be a valuable asset in securing the benefits you deserve. 

Quick Summary:

  • Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance providing benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It operates as a no-fault system, ensuring employees receive benefits without proving employer negligence.
  • Injured workers can receive various benefits, including medical coverage, wage replacement, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. Families may also receive death benefits if a worker dies due to a work-related injury.
  • Workers’ compensation covers a range of injuries such as slips, trips, and falls, overexertion injuries, repetitive strain injuries, falling objects, work-related vehicle accidents, and exposure to toxins.

What is Workers’ Compensation? 

Workers’ compensation, often shortened to “workers’ comp,” is a form of insurance mandated by most states in the U.S. In Louisiana, workers’ compensation is handled by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. It provides financial and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It operates as a no-fault system, meaning an employee doesn’t need to prove their employer’s negligence to receive benefits. 

In exchange for mandatory employer participation in workers’ compensation insurance, employees generally give up their right to sue their employer for negligence related to workplace injury. That is known as the compensation bargain

This system aims to streamline the claims process and ensure timely medical care and income replacement for injured workers, while also protecting employers from potentially crippling lawsuits.

In Louisiana, we help people understand the often confusing process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Examples of workers’ compensation cases include:

  • Slipping and falling at work
  • Getting hurt by machinery
  • Illnesses caused by working with dangerous materials
  • Repetitive injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Injuries from car accidents during work
  • Mental stress or trauma from work

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

In Louisiana, the Office of Workers’ Compensation manages workers’ comp claims, but they don’t pay the benefits. Instead, your employer or your workers’ comp insurance provider is responsible for paying you.

If you get hurt at work, workers’ comp usually covers your medical bills related to the injury and your lost wages until you can go back to work. It also covers rehab services. If you pass away, it gives certain benefits to your family members.

Types of Benefits Provided by Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation offers various benefits to injured workers, acting as a safety net after a work-related injury or illness. Here’s a breakdown of the key types of coverage:

  • Medical Benefits: These cover the costs of treating your work-related injury or illness. That can include:
    • Doctor visits and consultations
    • Hospital stays and surgeries
    • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
    • Medications and medical equipment
    • Ambulance services
    • In most cases, workers’ compensation will cover all necessary and reasonable medical expenses related to your work injury.
  • Wage Replacement Benefits: If your injury prevents you from working full-time, you may be entitled to a part of your lost wages. That is calculated as a percentage (around two-thirds) of your average weekly wage. The exact amount and duration of these benefits will depend on the severity of your injury and your recovery timeline.
  • Mileage Reimbursement: If an employee gets hurt at work, they should get paid back for the miles they travel to see a doctor or go to therapy appointments necessary for their injury.
  • Disability Benefits: In some cases, a workplace injury can leave you with lasting impairments that affect your ability to work. Workers’ compensation may offer disability benefits to compensate for this loss of earning capacity. These benefits can be:
    • Temporary Total Disability: If you cannot work at all for a temporary period due to your injury, you may receive temporary total disability benefits.
    • Temporary Partial Disability: If your injury allows you to return to work with limitations (e.g., reduced hours or lighter duties), you may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits to compensate for the difference in your wages.
    • Permanent Partial Disability: Workers with permanent impairments that affect their earning capacity may be entitled to ongoing permanent partial disability benefits.
    • Permanent Total Disability: In the tragic event that a work injury leaves you permanently unable to work in any capacity, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits.
  • Supplemental Earnings Benefits: In Louisiana, if you can’t earn as much money as you used to because of a work injury, you can get extra money to help cover the difference. These are the supplemental earnings benefits. You can receive these benefits if you can’t earn at least 90% of what you used to make before the injury. The amount you receive is two-thirds of the difference between your old earnings and your new earnings, up to a certain limit.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: Workers’ compensation may offer vocational rehabilitation services to help you return to work. That might also help you find a new job if your injury prevents you from performing your previous duties. Vocational rehabilitation includes retraining programs, job placement assistance, or modifications to your workplace to accommodate your limitations.
  • Death Benefits: If a work-related injury tragically results in the death of a worker, surviving family members may be entitled to death benefits. These benefits can help cover funeral expenses. Provide ongoing financial support for dependents who rely on the deceased worker’s income.

What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation? 

Workers’ compensation covers various injuries and illnesses sustained on the job. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Overexertion injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) (eg carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis)
  • Falling objects
  • Work-related vehicle accidents
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Machinery injuries
  • Electrical injuries
  • Workplace violence
  • Loss of hearing
  • Repetitive stress 
  • Fire and explosion injuries
  • Injuries from defective products

This list is not exhaustive, and workers’ compensation can cover other injuries and illnesses depending on the specific circumstances of the case.  

What is the Difference Between Workers’ Compensation Claim and Personal Injury Lawsuit? 

Sometimes it can be hard to know whether to file a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Here’s how to decide:

When Should I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If your employer has workers’ compensation, you usually can’t sue your employer if you get hurt at work. Instead, you have to file a workers’ comp claim. Note that workers’ compensation only covers specific benefits and doesn’t pay for pain and suffering.

When Should I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit? 

There are exceptions, like if your employer hurt you on purpose. If your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance or isn’t required to have it, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. 

When Should I File for Both Claims? 

Sometimes, you might be able to file both a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury lawsuit. That can happen if you get hurt at work but a third party, like a contractor who doesn’t work for your employer, caused the injury. You can sue the third party in a personal injury lawsuit for fair compensation.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claims in Louisiana

A work-related injury can be disruptive and financially stressful. Fortunately, Louisiana’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits to injured workers. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved in filing a workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana:

  • Report the Injury to Your Employer Promptly – This is a crucial first step. Louisiana law requires you to notify your employer of your work-related injury as soon as practicable, but no later than two years after the date of the accident or the date you discovered the injury was work-related. 

Ideally, report the injury verbally and follow it up with a written report documenting the details of the incident, date, time, location, and witnesses (if any).

  • Seek Medical Attention – Getting prompt medical attention is essential for your health and your workers’ compensation claim. It establishes a clear link between your injury and the workplace accident. Choose a healthcare provider authorized by the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation (LWCC).
  • File a Formal Claim with the LWCC – While some employers may start the claim filing process on your behalf, it’s crucial to be proactive. You can file a claim yourself with the LWCC online or through fax, phone, or mail. 
  • Gather Supporting Documentation – Maintain copies of all relevant documents to support your claim, such as:
    • Accident reports
    • Medical records documenting your injury and treatment
    • Witness statements (if applicable)
    • Proof of wages (pay stubs or W-2 forms)

Important Deadlines

According to Louisiana law, you generally have three years from the date of the accident or the date you discovered the injury to file a formal claim with the LWCC. However, it’s highly advisable to report the injury and file a claim as soon as possible.

How Can My Workers’ Comp Claims Be Denied? 

Sometimes claims are denied, leaving workers surprised and unsure of what to do. If your claim is denied, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve benefits—you may just have to fight for them. You don’t have to face this alone. Workers’ comp lawyers can help you appeal the denial and work to get you the benefits you need.

What are the Possible Reasons Why My Claims Get Denied? 

When filing for workers’ compensation claims, it doesn’t always go as smoothly as we think. Here are the following reasons why your claims may be denied: 

  • Not filling out the application correctly or telling your employer about the accident too late can cause a denial.
  • The injury wasn’t work-related. Your injury must happen while you’re doing your job, not off-duty or fooling around.
  • If you had a pre-existing injury or health problem before, the insurance might claim that’s the real issue. You can prove otherwise with medical records.
  • In Louisiana, your claim might be denied if you were drunk or using drugs when hurt.
  • Workers’ comp only covers employees, not independent contractors. If you think you were misclassified, you should get advice.

What Can I Do if My Claim Is Denied? 

A denial isn’t the final word. You can take steps to appeal. In Mississippi, you can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge or appeal to higher courts. In Louisiana, you can request a formal hearing with the Office of Workers’ Compensation. 

You must file within one year from the accident or your last payment if you were receiving medical payments. If you need help, a lawyer can guide you through the process.

New Orleans Workplace Injury? Get Back on Your Feet with Hammond Law Firm LLC’s Workers’ Compensation Attorneys!

Is a work injury leaving you in pain and financial strain? Don’t navigate the confusing world of workers’ compensation alone. Hammond Law Firm LLC has a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney in New Orleans who fights for what you deserve. 

We have a proven track record of securing maximum compensation for injured workers, ensuring you get the medical care you need and the lost wages you’re owed. 

Stop stressing about the legalities of personal injury – focus on healing. Schedule your free consultation with our personal injury law firm today and let our competent attorneys fight for your rights.

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