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What do I need to know about filing workers' comp?

Employees in Louisiana could benefit from learning more about the rights and responsibilities associated with filing a workers' comp claim. Workers compensation insurance may be described as insurance employers are required to purchase in the event that a worker suffers an injury or illness caused by the job. State and federal laws require employers to carry the insurance so disabled or injured workers can receive adequate compensation while away from work.

Federal laws require workers' compensation be available to U.S. government employees while state laws govern the regulations pertaining to private employees and other localized workers. Each state has its own laws that govern the rights and regulations related to its workers compensation program. Injured workers are typically entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits, but once they do, these workers may be prohibited from filing a lawsuit against the employer.

Workers compensation claims are designed to aid injured workers whether the incident is attributable to their own carelessness or to the employer's negligence. The application of workers' comp claims may be broad, but there are still limitations in place. Injured employees who fail a drug or alcohol test may be denied payments from workers' compensation insurance. Injuries that are self-inflicted or that occurred while the employee was violating the law or workplace policy may also be disqualified from warranting a workers' comp payment.

Employees who need more information about the rights and responsibilities associated with filing a workers' comp claim might benefit from obtaining legal counsel. A lawyer may be equipped to investigate the incident and help determine if an injured employee is better off filing a workers' comp claim or filing a lawsuit against the employer. Injured workers who have been unable to obtain adequate medical coverage or wage benefits may also benefit from consulting a lawyer.

Source: Workers' Compensation Basics, 'Workers' Comp Benefits Explained", FindLaw

Source: Findlaw, "Workers' Compensation Basics", December 30, 2014

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