What Are My Rights Under Workers’ Compensation?
When you experience a workplace injury, it’s only common to feel overwhelmed or confused by the whole process. You probably don’t know what to do next or where to turn for help. As daunting as this can be, understanding your rights under workers’ comp in Louisiana is important. Knowing your rights makes it easier to file a claim since you already know what to expect and what you need to do to ensure insurance coverage.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ comp is a type of insurance paid by the employer that provides benefits to workers who are injured at work or who have caught a disease caused by workplace conditions. Regardless of what caused the accident or illness, an employer is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to his employees. To help you understand workers’ comp more, here are five important facts you should know
1. Differences in Each State
The first thing you need to understand about your rights under workers’ compensation is that they will vary depending on your job and the state you live in. This is because every state has its own laws regarding employees’ compensation, and each of them may be different from one another.
There are state laws that supplement the federal guidelines that each insurance company is required to follow. Requirements are sometimes different for regular employees, independent contractors, and freelancers. So, make sure to do your research and learn about your state’s system.
2. Filing a Claim
One of your most important rights under the workers’ compensation system is your right to file a claim for your illness or your injury that you have incurred while working. You are entitled to this claim even when you are working outside the office, whether on a business trip, making a delivery, or working remotely.
When you file a claim, you assert your right to get the benefits you need. Your employer is required by law to provide those benefits, and they can’t restrict you from filing one.
3. Pursuing Treatment
If you’ve been injured at work, you know that the road to recovery is long and challenging. Work injuries can range from minor cuts to life-threatening conditions, but regardless of the severity, it’s imperative that you get the treatment you need.
After informing your employer, treatment should be your next priority. If your workplace has a doctor or nurse on call, they’ll be able to assess your condition and let you know if you need further treatment at a hospital. If not, make an appointment with a doctor at a nearby hospital who will be able to help you determine whether your injury warrants medical attention.
4. Wages and Medical Costs
After your treatment, you probably have a bunch of questions about how you’re going to pay your medical bills and make up for your lost wages. This is a stressful situation, but there are resources available for workers who are hurt on the job.
In pursuing treatment, employees’ compensation should step in to cover your hospital expenses as long as they’re approved. Typically, workers’ comp will also cover any therapy you need following an injury and a portion of the wages you lose while you’re out of work due to your hospitalization.
5. Returning to Work
Under workers’ comp, you have the right to resume your job as soon as your physician permits. In some cases, your doctor may release you with a light-duty recommendation. That means your employer may transfer you into another position or may lessen your current job’s expectations and responsibilities. Employers must follow this recommendation to prevent such illnesses and injuries and to accommodate employees’ needs once they return to work.
If that isn’t an option and your employer doesn’t offer an alternative position within the company, in some states, you may be eligible for temporary disability benefits while you recover. But, if your employer is reluctant to let you return to work even after your doctor has cleared you, let an experienced workers’ comp attorney help you through the process. Get Professional Help for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs and lost wages for employees hurt at work. If you’ve suffered a work-related physical injury, seek professional help with workers’ comp in Louisiana. They can file claims for you and provide the legal counsel you need during this stressful time, ensuring you receive the assistance you deserve.