Employees that are injured or grow ill in direct response to their working conditions could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Louisiana. Workers’ compensation benefits do not only cover an employee’s injuries from accidents like falling from a ladder or losing a finger during machine operation; it can also include any sudden onset of pain, such as feeling your back “pop.” It also includes occupational illnesses, like carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by repetitive movements over time.
Workers’ compensation law can cover both mental and physical injuries from accidents or occupational diseases. An accident is defined by the state of Louisiana as an actual, identifiable, and precipitous event that happens suddenly or violently, with or without human fault, and directly produces evidence of injury which is more than a gradual deterioration. An occupational disease is defined as an illness due to conditions characteristic of and peculiar to the particular trade, occupation, or role where the employee is exposed to a harmful disease.
The event causing injuries has to arise within the course and scope of employment. This means that, generally, the employer or employee’s fault does not necessarily affect the validity of a workers’ compensation claim, although no compensation may be awarded if the injuries were caused by willful intention to injure themselves or others. For example, employees are not entitled to benefits if they are the aggressor during an unprovoked physical altercation which caused injuries. Employees are also not awarded benefits if it they were participating in “horseplay” which caused the injury.
Regardless of if you’ve developed a sudden injury or a long-term trauma, if you want workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll have to prove that your injuries or illness are connected directly to your work. This can be done by reviewing all of the medical records and presenting these records to the Judge, and sometimes requires taking the deposition of the treating doctor.
The rules for workers’ compensation with regard to injuries and illness is often very complicated. If you have recently suffered a sudden injury or developed an occupational illness, you may run into difficulty getting the benefits you deserve without first consulting an experienced attorney. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Fischer & Manno Law will analyze your case, explain whether your injuries or illnesses are likely to be covered, explain time limits for claims filing in Louisiana, as well as help you to develop the strong evidence you will need for supporting a successful claim.