Workers' compensation in Louisiana does two main things for injured workers: It provides weekly checks for as long as the person cannot work and it provides medical care until the person is cured. However, getting the workers' compensation you deserve is not always easy, and mistakes during the claims process are very common.
If you have been injured on the job and are in need of financial support to help cover your lost wages and medical bills, be careful not to make these four big mistakes, which can cause the denial of your claim:
1. Not reporting your accident to your employer right away. In many cases, people don't report an accident or an injury right away and employers or insurers use this to their advantage. It's important to report your injury and seek medical treatment as soon as possible to help strengthen your claim.
2. Thinking that your injury is too minor to report. Too many people lose out on their right to compensation because they think an injury isn't severe enough and they don't report it. Oftentimes, injuries start out minor but get increasingly more severe in time. Even what you consider to be a minor accident should be reported immediately.
3. Not filing your workers' comp claim within a year. Under the law, you must file a workers' comp claim or have a claim accepted within a year of the accident. If you don't, you lose your chances of benefits. In cases of injuries that get worse over time or don't manifest until years later, you must file within a year of when you knew or should have known that the injury was related to work.
4. Accepting your employer's or its insurer's denial or delay of your workers' compensation benefits. As soon as you have an accident, you are now a liability for your employer and your employer's insurer and they will try to deny or limit the benefits you are entitled to. It's up to you to fight for the compensation that you deserve.
Of course, one way to avoid these mistakes and others is by meeting with an experienced attorney right away. Your attorney can give you an honest evaluation of your claim and guide you through the complex legal system.
Whether you were recently injured on the job or you are having a problem relating to a workers' compensation claim that has already been filed, attorney Laurie W. Maschek can stand up for your rights and your future.