Home             Contact Our Office
 Income Benefits
- Average Weekly Wage
- Temporary Total Disability
- Supplemental Earnings Benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability
- Permanent Total Disability
- When Should Your Benefits Start?

 Medical Benefits
- Selecting Your Doctors
- Get Your Medical Care Approved
- Second Medical Opinion
- Independent Medical Examination
- Obtaining Your Medical Records
- Emergency Medical Treatment
- Drug and Alcohol Testing
- Travel and Medication Expenses

 Filing a Claim
- Time Limits For Filing A Claim
- Termination of Benefits
- Termination of Employment
- Video Surveillance

 Injuries, Illnesses and Coverage
- Workers Compensation Injuries
- Workers Compensation Illnesses

 Louisiana Courts and Trials
- Office of Workers Compensation
- Mediation Conferences and Trials
- OWC Locations
 Vocational Rehabilitation
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- Functional Capacity Evaluations
- Labor Market Surveys

 What Can An Attorney Do?
- Why Do You Need A Lawyer?
- How Can A Lawyer Help?
- Fees and Costs

 Social Security Disability
- Qualifying For Disability
- Disability Determinations
- Hearings and Appeals
- Retaining An Attorney





Though about 20,000 people are injured while working in Louisiana each year, injured employees are often shocked when they learn the truth about the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation system:

  • Your time limit for filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Court expires in different years depending upon the type of wage benefits you should be receiving. In fact, your time limit for filing a claim for benefits can expire even while you're still under medical care. It's important to know the type of Workers' Compensation indemnity benefits you're receiving and how that impacts time limitations in your case.
  • “Vocational Rehabilitation” rarely amounts to more than the insurance company's Vocational Expert mailing you a letter listing a few low-paying, dead-end jobs. It is an exceptional and unusual case in which an injured employee is actually retrained for a new job.
  • Insurance companies can sometimes legally terminate people's benefits even though the claimant's treating doctor reports that they are unable to return to work. On the other hand, the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation court can award you thousands of dollars in penalties if the insurance company terminates your benefits without the appropriate medical documentation. If you want to protect yourself, you need understand why.
  • Over the years, numerous Workers’ Compensation Judges, including a former Chief Judge and a former Deputy Chief Judge, have quit, alleging that the system is biased against injured workers. Enacting amendments to the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation laws is a highly politicized process with important changes introduced each year.
  • The Louisiana Workers' Compensation insurance market is dominated by a single big company, the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation (LWCC). According to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report (6/7/05): "Today, LWCC holds fast to a market share larger than its next 10 competitors." LWCC is well know for their widely advertised policies that strictly limit settlements.
  • Some injured employees may be legally fired. You need to know whether your employer will hold your job open for you and let you come back to work when you recover from your injury. Even if you never want to go back to work at the place where you were injured, this is an important factor that impacts the settlement or outcome of your claim. Congress recently strengthened and expanded the protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In some situations, injured employees have more rights and options under the Americans With Disabilities Act than they do under the Louisiana Workers' Compensation laws.
  • Louisiana law often excludes coverage for developmental or repetitive motion injuries which, according to OSHA, are among the most common work-related conditions. The main factors that control whether your medical condition is covered are: (1) how long you worked for your employer before the disability arose, (2) your ability to pinpoint the beginning of your symptoms, and (3) whether your medical condition is one of the conditions that is specifically included or excluded by Louisiana Workers' Compensation law.
  • Many people have a hard time finding an attorney who has the knowledge and experience needed to successfully represent them in a Louisiana Workers’ Compensation claim. As the Judges of the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal concluded, you're effectively not protected by the Workers' Compensation laws if you're not represented by a capable attorney: “We do not exist in a vacuum, immune to the realities of the real world and the inability of a worker's compensation claimant to find effective or adequate counsel" “The injured worker would effectively be denied the protection offered by the workers' compensation statutes if he or she was unable to find an attorney to represent his or her interests." Charles v. Acadia.
  • In a typical claim, you and your attorney will need to talk with many people who work for your employer's Workers' Compensation insurance company, including their Adjuster, their Medical Case Manager, their Vocational Rehabilitation Expert, and eventually, the insurance company's Attorney. Those are the people with whom you or your attorney will have direct contact. There are other important individuals operating behind the scenes, people that you will probably never talk to, such as the Private Investigator that the insurance has hired to conduct video surveillance of you and your family, the doctor or nurse who reviews your medical records to decide whether the insurance company will pay for your medical treatment, or the Claims Manager, who is often the person that actually makes many of the important decisions about your case.

Unfortunately, some folks people adopt a "wait and see" attitude about their Workers' Compensation claim. They want to "wait and see" how their claim develops before they decide whether they need to call an attorney. Sadly, some even mistakenly believe that the insurance company will treat them better if they don't hire a lawyer.

But while the injured employee is waiting to decide if they need to contact an attorney, the insurance company may be quietly and legally stripping away the injured employee's rights. The insurance company has one clear goal. They want to minimize the amount of money they pay out on your case. To do that, they target the primary benefits you receive:

  • by limiting or denying your medical tests and surgery.
  • by delay, delay, delay, making the process of getting your medical treatment as difficult as possible.
  • by limiting your right to select the doctors who will treat you.
  •  by failing to include all of your income when calculating your benefits rate.
  • by sending you back to work based on their doctor's opinion before your doctor releases you to return to work.
  • by providing you with "vocational rehabilitation" in which their expert copies a few jobs off of the or out of the newspaper to try to show that there are jobs available they claim you are able to perform.
  • by making things difficult to motivate you to settle whenever they're ready to start negotiating with you.
  • by offering you a small lump-sum payment to resolve your claim, refusing to tell your how they calculated their offer and making you believe it's a take-it-or-leave-it deal.

The process shouldn't be so confusing and difficult, but having help from an experienced attorney can be invaluable if you want to make sure you're treated fairly.

Next: What Can A Lawyer Do For You?


David Buie, Louisiana Workers Compensation Attorney and Social Security Disability Attorney, 650 Poydras Street, Suite 1400, New Orleans, LA 70131, (800) 851-9405 / Fax: (866) 702-5297 Representing claimants in:
Alexandria Baton Rouge Bossier City Covington Gretna
Hammond Harahan Harvey Houma Kenner Lafayette Lake Charles
Laplace Marrero Metairie Monroe New Iberia New Orleans
Opelousas Ruston Shreveport Slidell Terrytown

Call (800) 851-9405 for a
free telephone consultation
or use the form below to ask
a question about your case.
            Your Question or Message
Hot Topics

What Can A Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyer Do For You?

How Do You Settle
Your Louisiana Workers Compensation Case?

Coordinating Louisiana Workers Compensation & Social Security Disability

Louisiana Workers

Louisiana Workers
Compensation Laws
& Regulations

Louisiana Workers

Louisiana Workers
Second Injury Fund

Louisiana Workers
Legislative Update

Louisiana Workers
Supreme Court Cases

Louisiana Workers
Compensation - Quick