After a work-related injury or illness, you must follow a specific process to apply for workers’ compensation benefits in Louisiana. If you file your claim incorrectly, you may not receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Simien & Simien’s Baton Rouge workers’ compensation attorneys have helped numerous workers in Louisiana receive the benefits they deserve after being injured in a workplace accident. We will assist you during the claims process to help you obtain the benefits you need. If your claim has been denied or you did not receive adequate benefits for your injury, do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.
Below, we have provided the process you should follow after suffering a work-related injury or being diagnosed with a work-related illness:
Inform Your Employer of Your Injury
If you sustain an injury while at work or performing work duties, you need to notify your employer right away. Report your injury to a foreman, supervisor, or other authority.
You must notify your employer of the injury within 30 days of discovering it. Failing to do so may cause you to lose workers’ compensation benefits.
Make your notice in writing and include the following information:
- Your name and contact information
- Time and date in which the injury occurred
- The location where the injury occurred
- How the injury happened
- Where the injury was afflicted on your body
File a Claim
In Louisiana, your employer will file a First Report of Injury form with its workers’ compensation insurer within 10 days of your injury notice to initiate your workers’ compensation claim.
Your employer’s insurer will then notify the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA), which will determine your eligibility and investigate your claim. This will include reviewing your:
- Medical records
- Functional capacity evaluation to determine work restrictions
- Work history, wages and education
- Medical examination
Once the OWCA has reached a decision regarding your workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurer must approve or deny your claim within a timely manner.
Seek Medical Treatment
In Louisiana, injured workers are allowed to select their own physician for treatment of work-related injuries or illnesses. Once you choose a doctor for treatment, you are not allowed to switch doctors without approval from your employer’s insurer or the OWCA. If you fail to get this approval, your medical bills relating to the claim may not be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits.
The OWCA may appoint an independent medical examiner to perform a medical evaluation if there are disputing medical opinions surrounding your injury or ability to work. You may be asked to undergo a physical exam or your medical records may be reviewed. Your employer’s insurer is responsible for this cost.
Filing a Dispute
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you may appeal the decision.
- Medical claims: You must appeal within one year of your injury date or within three years of the last benefits payment.
- Lost wages claims: You must appeal within one year of the date on which you were injured or when you received compensation for partial lost wages benefits.
You may request a mediation conference to work through disputes before initiating the legal process. To initiate a workers’ compensation claim appeal, you must file a Disputed Claim for Compensation form.
After you have filed the form, you will either reach a settlement regarding your benefits or your case may be heard by a judge. However, you will have the burden of proof to establish that you suffered a work-related injury.
During this time, your attorney will use evidence to support your case and may call on expert witnesses, such as a health care provider, to provide his or her testimony. Your attorney will assist you in building a strong case to prove your claim and help you secure the benefits you deserve.
Contact an Attorney
For assistance filing your workers’ compensation claim or dispute, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for qualified legal help.
The experienced lawyers of Simien & Simien have helped numerous victims recover the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve after a work-related injury or illness. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim. We work on a contingency fee basis so there are no upfront fees. We are only paid if we recover compensation on your behalf.