Shreveport Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Workers' Compensation Attorneys in Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield, Louisiana
If you are injured on the job, while completing your assigned duties, or possibly even in a car accident while working, you are entitled to benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation claims are often complex and can be very stressful, especially when you are hurt and trying to recover from your personal injury. The last thing you need is the added stress and worry that comes with handling legal matters. Lucky for you, a qualified Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer can help you move forward with your claim and recover the benefits you deserve for your injuries.
When you seek the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm, we’ll start by discussing your case and advising you on whether or not you have a workers’ compensation claim. If you do, we can give you all of the guidance you need, let you know what benefits you are entitled to, and take the stress out of the process by handling all legal issues and filing your workers’ comp case for you.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Employees injured on the job in Louisiana are covered by a legal remedy called Workers’ Compensation Insurance (also sometimes referred to as workmans’ compensation or workers’ comp). It entitles employees who’ve suffered work-related injuries to certain benefits. These workers’ compensation benefits include medical care for the injuries, repayment of lost wages, vocational rehabilitation assistance, and/or death benefits. It’s the employer’s responsibility to provide these benefits, and the firm or its workers’ compensation insurance company pays them directly to the employee.
Unless they’re legally exempt, every employer is responsible for the medical care and payment of lost wages to any employee injured while doing his or her job duties. You need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side to help you get the benefits you deserve.
For a more in-depth description, check out our blog How Does Workers’ Comp Work?
Louisiana Workers’ Comp Laws
Trying to recover proper workers’ compensation benefits after being injured on the job can be exhausting and stressful. This is especially true if you are unable to return to work while you recover and are worried about how you will support your family. This is precisely why legal solutions such as workers’ compensation claims exist.
Louisiana’s Workers’ Compensation Law can be found in the LA Revised Statutes 23:1020.1. Under this law, employers are legally obligated to carry workers’ comp insurance if they have 1 or more full or part-time employees who earn at least $3,000 a year. Employers are also required to provide a timely payout of temporary and permanent disability benefits (as well as other benefits) for workers who have been injured or become ill on the job. These laws were created to preserve Louisiana’s workers’ rights and to assist anyone whose health and safety has been compromised on the job.
Who is Covered By Workers’ Comp?
Construction workers may face a higher risk of danger than, say, office workers, but no worker is completely safe from potential workplace accidents. As such, injured employees from any field or industry are all covered by workers’ comp. In fact, the majority of employees in Louisiana are covered from the moment they start working. This includes full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers, as well as minors. If they are working for the employer or if they are doing a lot of manual labor, subcontractors and certain independent contractors may be considered employees under this law.
Of course, there are some exceptions to the statute. Domestic workers, most real estate salespeople, unpaid officers and directors of some non-profit organizations, and public officials are all specifically exempt. Additionally, most volunteer workers would not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits either.
Louisiana Workers Compensation Benefits
The types of benefits that injured workers are able to receive vary based on the type and extent of the injury. Depending on the severity of your workplace injuries, you may be eligible for one or more of the following types of compensation:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
If you have missed work because of your injury, you may be eligible for TTD benefits if you receive a particular certification from your doctor. The certification states that you are unable to return to work while you heal.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Your doctor may tell you to limit your physical activity after a workplace injury, possibly stopping you from performing certain job duties. TPD benefits will make up the gap in pay if you are able to continue working at a reduced rate.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)
Shreveport workers who suffer a work-related injury may also qualify for additional benefits on top of those they receive for their physical handicap.
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)
Sometimes injured workers cannot return to work for the rest of their life due to the severity of their injuries. In these cases, TPD benefits may be available.
Your employer must offer medical treatment for any job-related injuries that arise during your employment. Once a specialty or field of treatment for your injury is established, you’ll usually be able to choose your doctor. Your employer will then choose a doctor for a second medical opinion. The medical bills for the treatment you receive will be covered under the insurance.
You may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation if you are unable to return to work because of an injury. It may be necessary to determine your physical limitations, so a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) could be administered. A vocational expert will help you search for jobs that are in line with your physician’s work restrictions.
The dedicated Shreveport workers’ compensation lawyers at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm are prepared to guide you through this time-consuming process and make sure you’re not sent back to work before your doctor says you’re ready.
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Rates
The LA Office of Worker’s Compensation Administration regulates the rates in Louisiana. The weekly Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefit amount is two-thirds of the injured worker’s normal weekly pay at the time of the accident. However, these benefits are subject to both an upper and a lower limit. The maximum award is 75% of the statewide average weekly wage at the time of your injury, with a minimum of 20%. The maximum TTD payout is $705 per week for accidents occurring between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, while the minimum is $188.
Supplemental Earnings Benefits
In Louisiana, if you are able to work (including self-employment), you cannot get temporary disability benefits. However, you may be eligible for “supplemental earnings benefits” if your injury prevents you from earning at least 90% of your pre-injury wages.
Supplemental earnings benefits are based on 2/3 of the difference between what you made prior to your workplace injury and what you’re capable of earning now in any field. For example, if you were earning $3,000 per month prior to your accident, but can now only work light-duty jobs that pay $1,800 per month, you would be paid two-thirds of the $1,200 difference, or $800 per month.
Louisiana Workers’ Comp Premiums
A number of factors help determine the premiums for workers’ compensation. These factors include your total yearly payroll, the sort of work your employees do, and your company’s previous accident history.
What Types of Accidents May Lead to Workers’ Compensation?
There is any number of ways an employee may suffer an injury or illness at work. Some jobs are more prone to certain types of injuries than others, but even with extensive training measures and safety precautions in place, no industry can completely prevent its workers from suffering injuries due to on-the-job accidents.
Overexertion injuries, slips and falls, falling from heights, motor vehicle accidents, and repetitive motion injuries are all examples of common workplace accidents that may result in a workers’ compensation claim.
- Overexertion Injuries – This includes injuries related to pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying, and throwing activities at work. Overexertion has consistently been the number one workplace injury and also the most expensive.
- Slipping/Tripping – This pertains to slip and fall accidents on wet and slippery floors or trips over items on the floor. Employers should have safety guidelines to ensure spills are promptly cleaned and no debris is present.
- Falling from Heights – This type of fall happens from an elevated area such as roofs, ladders, stairways, and scaffolding. They can be caused by slip-and-fall accidents or faulty equipment. These types of accidents can be reduced by the use of proper personal protection gear, training, and employee diligence.
- Car Accident – Employees who drive for business purposes may be injured in a car accident or commercial truck accident. For example, semi-truck accidents may involve a workers’ comp claim because they are being driven for an employer and by an employee. Employee safe-driver training and employer safe-driving policies are likely to reduce accidents, but cannot prevent them entirely.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries – This type of workplace injury is one that’s less obvious, but definitely harmful in the long run. Repetitive motions such as typing and using the computer 24/7 can strain muscles and tendons causing back pain, vision problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Employee training and the use of proper ergonomic equipment can help keep these incidents low.
- Fires and Explosions – Chemical plant explosions and oilfield refinery accidents often trace back to human error, not following OSHA regulations, poor maintenance, a faulty valve, and failure to adhere to safety guidelines. These fires and explosions can lead to devastating, often fatal injuries.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm have handled all kinds of workers’ comp claims across Bossier City, Mansfield, and Shreveport, LA. From construction accidents to offshore-maritime accidents to nursing injuries and illnesses and beyond. With over 30 years of combined legal experience, you can trust the personal injury attorneys at Gordon & Gordon for knowledgeable assistance throughout the entire workers’ comp legal process.
What Steps Should You Take Following a Workplace Injury?
Just like a personal injury case, the clock starts ticking immediately after you’ve suffered injuries in a workplace accident in Louisiana. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. This is crucial no matter how mild your injury appears to be.
A claim for benefits is usually due one year after the date of the injury. If you are injured at the workplace, you should contact legal professional and take these steps to ensure that you meet the requirements to collect your workers’ compensation:
- Get immediate medical care.
- Document your injury with your employer, immediately.
- If your injury is one that builds up over time, report it as soon as you discover that it may be work-related.
- Contact a Shreveport personal injury attorney who is skilled in workers’ law and workers’ comp claims.
What Should Your Employer Do To Ensure You Receive Workers’ Compensation?
Your employer is required by Louisiana Law Title 23 to have workers’ compensation insurance in the event that you or a co-worker are injured at work. This insurance will protect you when you get hurt and will help cover your:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Death benefits for fatal accidents
If you or a co-worker suffer a work-related injury, your employer must take your personal injury seriously and document all of the facts surrounding the accident. They must also make sure an accident investigation is carried out to help reveal the root of the problem and point toward safety improvements to avoid future work-related incidents.
Top Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving Northwest Louisiana
If you’ve been hurt on the job, you have legal options available to you. All Louisiana employers are required to provide workers’ comp benefits to their employees following a work-related injury, but by obtaining the help of experienced LA lawyers, you ensure that you receive all the benefits you and your family need to make a full recovery.
Contact the experienced Northwest Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys at Gordon and Gordon right away if you or a loved one has been hurt in a work-related accident and would like to learn more about your workers’ compensation options. We have law offices in Mansfield, Bossier City, and Shreveport, LA, but we proudly serve the entire Ark-La-Tex and beyond. To reach our Mansfield, Bossier, or Shreveport office, you can give us a call at (318) 716-4357 or complete our online intake form today.