Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides weekly financial benefits and medical care to workers who have been injured in an accident or made ill on the job.
Workers’ compensation is no-fault based, which means that the injured worker is often entitled to benefits even if the accident was his or her own fault. (However, workers who intentionally injure themselves or others are not eligible for benefits.)
Workers’ comp provides a lifeline for injured workers who have to miss work and require medical treatment for their injuries, but it isn’t always easy for workers to secure the benefits that they deserve. For example, some employers don’t even carry workers’ compensation insurance.
When your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance
Employers in Louisiana, with a few limited exceptions, do not have the option to opt out of the workers’ comp program. They are required to carry this type of insurance under the law. However, there are still many employers who choose to violate the law in order to save money.
The good news for injured workers is that they may still be able to recover damages for lost wages, medical bills and other related costs by perusing a tort claim against the law-violating employer. What that means is the worker files a civil lawsuit against the employer, with the help of an attorney.
A civil lawsuit takes place through a different process than a workers’ compensation claim, but the end result is the same: getting the injured worker the financial support and medical care that he or she needs.
If you were injured on the job and you don’t think your employer is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, then you will need to talk to a lawyer right away about your options for recovery. The issue has to be handled quickly and properly to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.