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Covington Vocational Rehabilitation Attorney

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Rehabilitation Rights After Work Injuries

The reality is that most disagreements with workers’ compensation insurance companies do not occur in the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident. Under Louisiana law, most employees are covered by workers’ compensation, regardless of fault, and so are entitled to medical care and temporary total disability benefits if they are not able to return to work in a timely manner.

Injured workers and their families are focused on medical care, and are understandably grateful that those bills are being covered. Temporary wage replacement is another benefit, and while it generally only covers two-thirds of an employee’s average wage, it is usually enough to keep the bill collectors away from the door over the short term.

However, it’s important to understand that workers’ compensation insurers are focused on reducing costs at each stage of the process. Your case has already been assigned to adjusters, investigators, and financial, legal and medical experts with significant resources and experience. The more serious your injury, the more senior the team arrayed against you. That’s why we always encourage injured workers and their families to seek out the early advice and representation of an experienced vocational rehabilitation attorney in New Orleans, Raceland and Covington.

After initial emergency medical care, the workers’ compensation insurer must approve, and may challenge, medical expenses over $750. While you are allowed to choose your own treating physician, as well as one medical specialist in each necessary field of care, the insurer may also request its own medical evaluations and push for an independent medical evaluation when disagreements arise.

Your chosen physician will ultimately make many critical decisions impacting your care and eligibility for benefits and is best chosen in consultation with an experienced Louisiana work injury law firm. Choosing a physician with a track record of fighting for the rights of injured workers is a critical first step in the process, and one often missed by injured workers who are focused on recovery and satisfied with the initial responsiveness and benefits provided by a workers’ compensation insurer.

Your employer may insist you return to work sooner than you are able. Your same job may not be available. A workers’ compensation insurer may also move for a finding of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and an Impairment Rating (IR) to help bolster its case and/or make a discounted settlement offer to close your claim. Each stage of this process can impact current and future benefits.

Vocational Rehabilitation After Work Injuries

Vocational rehabilitation benefits are among the most misunderstood benefits available to injured workers, particularly those who cannot return to their previous occupation. Examples are unfortunately common of workers forced back into positions before they are medically able, forced to work jobs they cannot handle, or forced to take substantially reduced positions, and then being eliminated for poor performance or other issues.

In most cases, employees without experienced legal help are pushed through the process with a single unanswered question: “Does my employer really need to put me back to work yet?”

When properly utilized, vocational rehabilitation can offer valuable assistance to injured workers who cannot return to their previous positions. However, it is most often utilized by workers’ compensation insurers to prove an injured worker is capable of re-entering the workforce, thereby allowing the insurer to terminate benefits.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission for the Department of Labor has outlined worker rights throughout the vocational rehabilitation process, including:

  • The right to apply for vocational rehabilitation.
  • The rights to be completely and fairly evaluated.
  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right to receive eligibility determination within 60 days of applying.
  • The right to know reasons for any denials.
  • The right to appeal.
  • The right to receive information about help available through the Client Assistance Program.
  • The right to services from other agencies and facilities as appropriate.
  • The right to an assessment for post-employment services.

Returning to work has a major impact on many costly aspects of your work-injury claim, including medical care and rehabilitation, wage benefits and disability determinations. Insurers are anxious to prove you can return to the workforce in any available position in your community - if you are not successful in that position, that is not their problem.

Thus, workers’ compensation insurers use the system to reduce or eliminate lost wage benefits and other coverages provided to employees. It’s important to understand that Louisiana law does not even require insurers to show you have obtained employment, only that a job exists that your are capable of doing, and that such employment openings are available in your geographical area.

Proper navigation of the vocational rehabilitation system can be of significant benefit to injured workers and their families. Done properly, it can amount to paid occupational retraining and can leave workers better off than before an injury occurred. But entering the system without experienced legal help puts the insurance company in the driver’s seat, and the destination is pushing you back into the workforce, one way or another.

If you have been injured, call day or night for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 985-202-9907.

Louisiana Workers' Compensation Claims

-20 Years of Professional Experience-
Will My Injury Be Covered?
Workers’ compensation covers both mental and physical injuries and occupational diseases.
Under Louisiana law, an accident refers to anything that is unexpected, unforeseen and occurs suddenly or violently – producing an injury.
The injury:
  • may or may not produce a disabling condition
  • may allow you to still work
  • may take you out of work
Generally, your compensation will not be affected depending upon who was at fault for the accident.
An occupational disease or illness is covered if it is the direct result of exposure to hazardous or toxic materials in the workplace. If you work in Louisiana’s oil and gas or chemical and petrochemical industries, you are at a greater risk to develop serious health conditions.
Common injuries suffered on the job include, but are not limited to:

Louisiana Workers' Comp Benefits

Will My Injury Be Covered?
In Louisiana, most workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation Statutes on the first day that they begin employment. These benefits extend to all workers whether they are employed full-time, part-time or seasonally.
Additionally, employees who are minors are also covered to the same degree as if they were adults.
Primary Types of Benefits:

Indemnity/Lost Wages — weekly payments based upon your average weekly wage; you will receive 66% of your average weekly wage capped at a maximum rate

Medical and/or Death — covers all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, including doctors visits, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, etc.

Mileage Reimbursement — travel related expenses to and from health care provider, pharmacy, etc. Vocational Rehabilitation program designed to retrain you in an attempt to return you to work for your previous employer, or find new work.

Contact Louisiana Workers' Comp

Whether you have suffered an immediate injury or have endured a long-term disability or chronic illness, you deserve to have the support you need to recover. Our work injury attorneys will provide you with nothing less than compassionate understanding and exceptional legal counsel.
We’re eager to start advocating on your behalf.
CALL US (985) 893-6530
Wanko Workers' Comp Lawyers provides its service in New Orleans, Covington, Houma, Thibodaux, Mandeville and all across Louisiana
Covington Location
19295 N 3rd St #1 
Covington, Louisiana 70433
New Orleans Location
1140 St. Charles Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Thibodaux Location
406 West 3rd Street #105
Thibodaux, Louisiana 70301

Disclaimer: The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney client relationship. We are workers compensation attorneys serving the entire New Orleans area including Larose, Golden, Meadow, Thibodaux, Houma, Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Metairie, Belle Chasse, Elmwood, Boutte, Harahan, Destrehan, River Ridge, Raceland, Slidell, Kenner and all of Louisiana. We serve St. Tammany Parish, Livingston Parish, Orleans Parish, and Jefferson Parish.
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