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Defenses to workers' compensation claims

Most Louisiana workers who are injured while on the job are entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. The claim is then presented to the insurance company for further investigation before any benefits are paid out. While workers are generally entitled to benefits, this may not always be the case.

For instance, workers have a limited amount of time under state law to provide notice of the injury to their employer. Notice is typically given to a supervisor in writing or verbally, and a spouse or doctor may also be able to give notice on behalf of the employee. There is also a statutory period after a workplace accident within which the claim must be filed. A failure to abide by these time requirements could result in the claim being denied.

Employees who intentionally cause themselves to become injured or who become injured while intoxicated may not be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Failing to see a doctor as part of the claims process may result in the claim being denied or having benefits reduced. It is important to note that benefits are only available to employees. Independent contractors must generally carry their own insurance if they wish to be compensated after an injury or illness contracted while on the job.

If a claim is approved, injured workers could be entitled to receive a portion of their lost wages as well as necessary medical care and treatment. Unfortunately, even valid claims are often disputed or denied, and this is why many workers have the assistance of an experienced attorney throughout the process.

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