Louisiana Workers Compensation Laws

Louisiana workers compensation laws are regulated in this state by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. These laws have specifically been designed to provide financial support to those workers who get injured at the workplace while performing their duty. Sometimes, the workplace is exposed to certain hazardous elements, which may result in diseases for the employees in the long run. Even in such cases, the employees are entitled to compensation benefits. The benefits cover the medical expenses needed to treat the occupational injuries or illnesses. Furthermore, in cases, where the injuries are more serious and the injured worker is unable to return to work due to temporary or permanent disability thus caused, the benefits also include the monetary compensation for the resulting wage loss. Since accidents can happen anytime, it is important for the workers and employees to be well aware of their legal rights in this regard. Following is a brief rundown on some of the important points of the occupational injury compensation laws in Louisiana that you must be well aware of.

Employees Have The Right To Choose Their Own Doctor

As per Louisiana workers compensation laws, employers do not have the right to force injured workers to get the treatment from a physician of their choice. Instead, the injured worker is free to get treated by a doctor of his or her own choice. Not just that, they can even switch to another doctor if they find it necessary. However, you are switching a doctor in the same specialty, you will be legally required to get permission from your employer first. There are also certain legal requirements that are applicable on the treating physician. For example, if they have to provide non-emergency care, where the medical expenses may amount to more than $750, they must first inform the employer and get permission from him or her. Here, it is important to note that if the employer does not give the permission, he or she must provide some probable cause.

Independent Medical Examinations

Unlike the occupational injury laws in other states, Louisiana workers compensation laws have specific provisions for independent medical examinations also. This provision can be used to resolve disputes between workers and employers regarding the liability and diagnosis of the injuries or illnesses occurred at workplace. In cases of such disputes, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration sets a date for independent medical examination, which cannot be changed unless the office issues another notice in this regard. The physician who performs this examination must submit the reports within thirty days.

Disability Benefits

Louisiana workers compensation laws offer three types of occupational injury benefits that include permanent partial disability (PPD), permanent total disability (PTD) and temporary total disability (TTD). The weekly payments are determined as 66 2/3 percent of the average weekly wages that the injured worker had been earning before the accident. However, the laws have also imposed a maximum limit in this regard, as per which the weekly payment cannot exceed $577 in any case. Though there is no maximum limit on the time period for which the payments must be made on a regular basis, there is a limit of maximum 520 weeks for certain groups, such as volunteer firefighters with permanent total disability.

As is the case with the laws applicable in the majority of other states, as per Louisiana workers compensation laws also, there is a waiting period of seven days from the date of the accident before the injured workers can start using the benefits.