Access to timely, high-quality medical care is the first concern for anyone who suffers an on-the-job injury.
The Louisiana workers’ compensation system provides benefits to most injured workers, regardless of fault. These benefits include medical care, rehabilitation and vocational services, lost wages and disability benefits. In exchange, employees are generally prohibited from suing an employer for personal injury or wrongful death.
While the program’s aim is to provide timely, cost-effective benefits to injured workers and their families, while protecting employers from the cost of lawsuits, it’s an imperfect system that pits unrepresented injured workers and their families against experienced teams of professionals working at large insurance companies. Those injured on the job are always best served by early consultation with an experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation law firm, which can handle your claim with no up-front costs while allowing you and your family to focus on recovery.
Workers’ compensation medical benefits in Louisiana include:
Injured employees have an absolute right under Louisiana workers’ compensation law to choose their own treatment provider, as well as one specialist from each required medical specialty. However, many common issues arise, ranging from workers’ compensation insurers challenging injury as a pre-existing condition, to the right of insurers to challenge any non-emergency medical care over $750.
Additionally, while employees are entitled to copies of all paperwork, so are employers, their workers’ compensation insurance companies, and any health care provider, rehabilitation service or vocational service involved in an employee’s care. Understanding what information is being gathered about your injury, and how it will likely be used to determine benefits, including maximum medical improvement and impairment ratings, is critical to getting all of the benefits to which you are entitled and is always best left to an experienced New Orleans work injury law firm.
Since the employee’s chosen treating physician will likely determine an employee’s ability to work, as well as his or her disability, such choices are critical. The insurance company may also force an employee to attend a Second Medical Opinion (SMO) exam. If disagreements arise, either side may then request an Independent Medical Exam with a physician from the Louisiana Office of Workers Compensation Medical Services Division or a physician chosen by the court.
Without guidance from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in News Orleans, Covington or Raceland, the end result is often injured workers submitting to multiple medical exams with very little understanding of the long-term impact on his or her care and/or ability to continue to receive benefits. In fact, your choice of a law firm and your choice of a treating physician are among the two most important decisions you will make throughout your workers’ compensation claim. Claimants who do not carefully choose both at the outset of their case can face significant disadvantages. Insurance companies know this and often use it to their advantage by being cooperative and responsive when it comes to medical care at the start of a claim.
Your chosen doctor will:
Your chosen workers’ compensation law firm can:
Injured employees also have a right to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket medical expenses and insurers are required to pay medical bills within 30-60 days, depending on whether a medical provider bills electronically or by paper.
Don’t wait until care issues or significant disagreements arise before reaching out for help from an experienced Louisiana work injury law firm. At Wanko Law, we believe injured workers and their families deserve the same access to knowledgeable and experienced advocacy that will be deployed by their workers’ compensation insurance company and their attorneys.
If you have been injured, call day or night for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 985-893-6530.
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.