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Experts think that 2017 politics will change workers' comp

Employees in Louisiana who get injured on the job may face new challenges when it comes to securing workers' compensation. Thanks to the Trump presidential administration's smaller-government stance and other factors, U.S. Department of Labor efforts to upgrade state-level worker's comp mechanisms by instituting minimum benchmarks may lack the impact they'd otherwise have.

Claims industry observers note that during the previous presidential administration, government agencies like OSHA took a more proactive approach such as enforcing labor laws. Many employers also worked hard to uphold the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. At the same time, some insurers declined to participate in health marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, which raised prices. Going into 2017, state-level gubernatorial elections and constitutional challenges could further increase liabilities for those who are self-insured or whose workplaces carry policies.

Experts say that workers' compensation programs also face many different societal obstacles such as the need to define clearer standards for marijuana impairment in increasingly marijuana-friendly locales. Some jurisdictions still promote legislation that excludes certain mental health issues from coverage, and lawmakers in some states have considered new rules that might limit temporary total disability benefits or allow employers to refrain from participating in workers' compensation at all.

As laws change, the rights of injured employees can also transform. Politically motivated legislation that loosens labor laws or reduces business owners' coverage burdens may leave employees responsible for significantly higher medical expenses following workplace accidents that weren't their fault. Workers may find that filing for damages with a workers' compensation attorney helps them build stronger claims. By gathering the necessary evidence and adhering to the correct filing procedures, an experienced lawyer may help injured individuals retain protection in an unstable legal climate.

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