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Being injured while on the job can be devastating. Even if you are well-trained, follow all safety protocols, and stay alert to danger, accidents do happen. If you have been hurt while carrying out a work-related task, you may be put on your back for some time. You will need to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits that can help you and your family survive until you are able to earn a proper wage again.
Getting the Workers’ Comp Benefits You Need
If you are unable to work due to an injury sustained on the job, hiring a lawyer for a workers' compensation claim should be your first move. Workers’ comp includes medical treatment, wage loss compensation, and many other valuable benefits. Do not assume that your condition will automatically trigger workers’ compensation benefits. To get these benefits you must not only report your personal injury but also complete a claim process and meet other legal criteria. Failure to meet any of the requirements can lead to the loss of your claim.
Why You Need a Lawyer
It is easier than you may think to lose a workers’ comp claim. Error in filing the paperwork is one of the most common ways this happens. The people who process workers’ comp claims follow strict rules in determining who is eligible. If you mistakenly give them the wrong information, they will deny your request. A workers’ comp lawyer like one from the Schwartz Law Firm in Metairie, LA will help guide you through the paperwork. They will also help you meet the other legal requirements to get benefits and speak directly to the people processing your claim to resolve any misunderstandings or problems.
The Workers’ Compensation System in Louisiana
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) is the body that oversees workers’ compensation claims in the state. All employers in Louisiana must have workers’ comp coverage, which they can obtain through an insurance company or through their own internal program. The latter is a form of self-insurance that must be certified by the state.
Louisiana has a no-fault workers’ comp system. You need not prove that your employer was at fault for your injuries to qualify for benefits. The only thing you must show is that you were injured while at work or harmed as a result of your work activities.
State law requires that you report your injury within 30 days of its occurrence or your discovery that you have a work-related illness or debilitating condition. Your notice must be in writing and signed by you, and it must be submitted to your employer or their insurance company. The notice should include your name and contact information, the time and date of your injury, the place where the injury occurred, how the injury happened, and the body part or parts affected. Your attorney will help you fill in these details.
The Insurance Claims Process
Once your employer or their insurance company has received the claim, they will notify OWCA and assess your eligibility for benefits. The investigation will include:
-Reviewing your medical records
-An analysis of your work experience
-Ordering an independent medical examination
After the investigation is concluded, your application will be approved or denied. If it is denied, then you can appeal. Your workers’ comp lawyer will help you through the appeals process, as deadlines and details on the kind of appeals you can make vary.
Getting Justice Through Workers’ Comp
If you are temporarily put out of work because of an accident, then you deserve fair treatment. The workers’ compensation benefits system was designed to mitigate the financial impact of such unforeseen incidents. To get the justice you deserve through the system you should hire a lawyer who specializes in workers’ comp cases.