Work accidents occur frequently. When a work accident happens, an injured employee will make a workers’ compensation claim. Regardless of whether the employer was actually at fault, they are still obligated to pay for workers’ comp claims. To be entitled to benefits, the worker is only required to show that the injury occurred during the course and scope of his or her employment.
However, the decreased burden of proof comes with a price. Unlike in a traditional personal injury case, the damages recoverable in a workers’ comp case are much more limited. Specifically, injured workers are only entitled to have their medical bills paid, receive a portion of their lost wages, and receive vocational rehabilitation training, if necessary. This is significantly different from a personal injury case in two key respects: (1) the injured worker cannot recover damages for pain and suffering and (2) the injured worker cannot recover the full value of his or her lost wages (instead being limited to 2/3 of your average weekly wages up to a maximum amount).
Even though the damages are limited, you may be able to settle your workers’ compensation claim.
You Can Settle Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
One of the critical things to keep in mind with any workers’ compensation case is that your employer (and their insurance company) will be obligated to pay for your lost wages for the time that you are unable to work (up to 10 years). Your employer will also have to pay for any medical expenses that are related to your injury. This means that they can be required to pay for future surgeries that you may need.
The potential for future payments creates an incentive for an insurance company to settle your claim. However, the insurance company never has to settle the claim, but the claim can reach a point where it makes financial sense for them to do so. However, you must remember that once your claim settles, your employer will not be responsible for any additional medical treatment that you may need.
You will also have to get your settlement approved by a workers’ compensation judge. This ensures that the employee is treated fairly and not taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Call a Louisiana Work Accident Attorney
If you have been hurt on the job (including offshore and maritime injury claims), The Mahone Firm can help guide you through the claims process. Call (504) 564-7342 to discuss your potential case with an injury lawyer today.