Understanding workers’ compensation in Louisiana

| Jan 6, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

When you experience an injury at work or while engaged in work-related activities, you can receive workers’ compensation coverage regardless of whether your employer was responsible for the incident. You cannot, however, sue your employer for the impact of the injury.

These are the answers to some common questions employees have about seeking workers’ compensation.

How should I report an injury?

You must notify your employer in writing within 30 days of your injury. This document must include your name and contact information along with comprehensive details about how, where and when the injury occurred. Your employer must file a claim on your behalf with the state  Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration within 10 days of receiving your injury notice.

OWCA will then review your medical records, work history, job skills and other factors that will contribute to a benefits determination. Within a few weeks, you will either begin to receive benefits or receive written notice of denial.

What types of compensation can I receive?

Although the exact benefit amount varies depending on the severity of the injury and other factors, compensation may be available for:

  • Time off from work
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Reasonable medical care
  • Catastrophic injury
  • Job training and/or education if you are no longer able to do your former job

Although you cannot recoup pain and suffering damages through the workers’ compensation program, you may be able to sue for these damages if the actions of a third party contributed to your injury.

Can I see my own doctor?

Louisiana state law allows you to choose your own medical provider after a work-related injury. However, OWCA may require a functional capacity evaluation to determine whether you will be able to return to work.

If OWCA denies your workers’ compensation claim, you have the right to appeal this decision. You must submit the state’s Disputed Claim for Compensation form within one year of your injury date or within three years of the date the state discontinued previously approved benefits.