A person does not have to be in any particular physical location to qualify for Workers’ Compensation as long as they’re in the course and scope of their employment and that’s fact-specific.
The particulars of any case will illuminate whether a person is in the course and scope of their employment. If you are wondering if you will qualify for Workers’ Compensation because of an injury that occurred outside of the physical location of your employment, your best course of action will be to speak to a knowledgeable attorney who can advise you on the facts of your case.
What Are The Proper Steps You Would Want Someone To Take If They Believe They Have A Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim In Louisiana?
If you believe that you have a valid Workers’ Compensation claim, there are some critical steps to take to benefit your case.
Attempt to identify and preserve any witnesses to the event, obtain an incident report from your employer and have it documented, and finally demand that you be seen by a doctor of your choice.
Louisiana state law mandates that workers are entitled to be seen by a doctor of their choosing, and insurance carriers in the state are typically good at respecting this.
It is also essential to seek counsel from an experienced and reputable Workers’ Compensation attorney who knows how to handle these claims.
Finally, don’t try to go back to work too soon. You cannot be fired for being injured, and you surely cannot be fired for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. But, unfortunately, people will often go back to work sooner than would be recommended. It is best to avoid returning to work until you are properly healed.
How Long Does Someone Have To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim In The State Of Louisiana?
You have one year from the date of an injury or date of a dispute to file a Workers’ Compensation claim in the state of Louisiana.
The “date of dispute” refers to the day you stopped being paid for the indemnity you are owed. If you have been receiving payments through your employer’s indemnity insurance carrier, the one-year window in which you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim will “restart” with each payment made. If payments cease before your needs are met, you have a year from that date to file a claim for benefits you allegedly are owed under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
What Are Common Reasons Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Denied Or Disputed?
One of the most common reasons a Workers’ Compensation claim is disputed or denied is on the grounds of intoxication or positive test for illicit drugs. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to refute these claims. However, if you are in a situation where a coworker or mechanical failure obviously caused the accident, intoxication may be an easily refuted defense.
Worker’s Compensation claims may be denied or disputed by the claim that the employee was not in the course or scope of their employment when the injury occurred.
Another reason a Workers’ Compensation claim may be denied is via the claim that the injured party had a pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions can cause a denial of benefits by suggesting that the injured party was not injured in a new way by the accident, but that the injury was already present.
If a person with a back injury notifies their employer of the back problem during the pre-employment process, it may cause the employer to assert that an accident did not cause a new injury.
Louisiana does have a law called The Second Injury Fund, which is a system whereby employers are economically encouraged to hire people who have been injured before. This way, if an employer is made aware of an initial condition (that may be limiting but not disabling) and that person is injured, the narrative can be protected. It is understood that a new accident can cause a person to be more limited or disabled than they would have been if not for the pre-existing condition.
At this point, an employer or their insurance carrier can seek payments for workers’ compensation obligation from The Second Injury Fund. The Second Injury Fund is a state-run fund available to people declared to be Second Injury Fund Claimants. In addition, these claimants can find medical and indemnity benefits paid from the fund.
This may be a way for benefits to be secured for an employee while not paying or denying them Workers’ Compensation benefits.
For more information on Workers’ Compensation Law In Louisiana, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (337) 289-0626 today.
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