Lake Charles Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Did you get injured on the job?

You may be eligible for disability benefits and payment of your injury-related medical bills. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to obtain the benefits you need, even when it seems like you have an open-and-shut case. Talking to a lawyer can be an important step if you are having trouble with your claim.

Call the Lake Charles workers’ compensation lawyers at Galloway Jefcoat for a free consultation to see how we may be able to assist you. We charge no upfront fees, which means there is no risk in contacting us. We have a proven track record of securing compensation for our clients. We have the resources to investigate your accident and manage every step of an appeal. Partners Rusty Galloway and John Jefcoat have personally handled thousands of injury cases and are members of the Louisiana Bar Association and the American Association for Justice.

Partner John Jefcoat is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100.

Call today for help with your workers’ comp claim: (337) 984-8020.

Are You Covered by Louisiana Workers’ Compensation?

If you are a full-time, part-time or seasonal employee, you are most likely covered by the workers’ compensation system, with certain exceptions:

  • Domestic employees
  • Most real estate sales employees
  • Officers and directors of certain non-profit organizations that do not receive compensation
  • Public officials

While many independent contractors and subcontractors are not considered to be employees, some might be. They must be involved in the pursuit of an employer’s trade, business or occupation, or do substantial manual labor.

Benefits may be provided if you suffer an injury that arises out of and occurs within the scope of your job. Fault does not play a role in a workers’ compensation claim. That means benefits may be available regardless of whether you or your employer are at fault. In other words, your employer does not need to be at fault. You can still receive benefits if you are at fault.

However, you will not receive benefits if your injury was caused by your own willful intention to injure yourself or others or your own intoxication. You cannot receive benefits if you were the aggressor in an unprovoked physical altercation or if you were engaging in “horseplay” when the injury happened.

Occupational Diseases

These are diseases or illnesses due to causes and conditions characteristic of and peculiar to your job. In other words, you must link the disease to the conditions of your employment and prove it was not caused by things outside of work. This may be difficult without the help of a licensed Lake Charles workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.

Aggravation of Preexisting Injuries

Sometimes a worker’s job causes an existing injury to be aggravated. You may be able to obtain benefits for this aggravation. You would need to differentiate between existing symptoms and new symptoms caused by a workplace accident or a condition of your employment.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for benefits, or your employer told you that you do not qualify but you disagree, give us a call. Our attorneys are here to help. Unlike workers’ compensation insurers and employers, our goal is to secure all the benefits you need.

There are no upfront fees for our services, and we have been serving Louisiana injury victims for more than 25 years.

Are Offsite Injuries Covered?

This is a complex issue that should be discussed with an experienced attorney. If you were engaged in work-related activity while offsite, you may be covered. For example, if you were making a delivery and were injured in a crash, the injury may be covered by Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system.

If you were at a company-sponsored event and your attendance was mandatory, you may be covered by workers’ compensation. If you were on a business trip and suffered an injury in an accident, it might also be covered.

Call Galloway Jefcoat for assistance. Ph: (337) 984-8020.

Medical Care and Disability Benefits

Your employer or his or her workers’ compensation insurance company must pay all approved, necessary treatment expenses. This may include the cost of travel to obtain treatment. However, non-emergency services that cost more than $750 must be pre-approved by your employer or his or her insurance company.

Indemnity Benefits

You could also refer to these as disability benefits. If you suffer an injury that keeps you out of work for more than seven days (calendar days, not business days), you may be eligible for disability benefits.

Temporary Total Disability

If you suffer an injury that temporarily prevents you from working and your workers’ comp claim is approved, you should be eligible for compensation equal to 66 and two-thirds percent of your average weekly wage. This is subject to minimum and maximum limits set by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA).

Supplemental Earnings Benefits

If you return to work but are unable to earn 90 percent of your pre-injury wage, you may be eligible for Supplemental Earnings Benefits. If your claim is approved, you may receive 66 and two-thirds percent of the difference between what you are currently earning and what you were earning before the injury. These benefits are paid monthly and can be paid for a maximum of 520 weeks.

Catastrophic Injuries

Employees who suffer injuries determined to be catastrophic may be eligible for a one-time payment of $50,000. The following injuries are the only ones that can be deemed catastrophic:

  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Total anatomical loss of both
    • Hands
    • Arms
    • Feet
    • Legs
    • Eyes
  • Total anatomical loss of one hand or foot or any two of the body parts listed above

Death Benefits

If your loved one passes away within two years of the last treatment for a job-related injury, you may be eligible for weekly indemnity benefits. These are paid to the surviving spouse and/or dependent children. When there are no surviving dependents, surviving parents may be eligible for a one-time payment of $75,000 each. Reasonable burial expenses, not exceeding $8,500 must also be paid by the employer or its workers’ compensation insurer.

Contact our Lake Charles workers’ compensation lawyers to discuss compensation that may be available. We have extensive knowledge of our state’s workers’ compensation system. We know how important it is to receive full compensation when an injury is keeping you from working.

Can You Choose Your Doctor?

You have the right to choose one doctor in each specialty field for treatment of your injury. However, you cannot change doctors after you choose them unless you get permission from your employer and/or his or her insurance carrier.

Galloway Jefcoat is prepared to answer all your questions about the workers’ compensation process and manage every step of your claim. That way you can focus on your treatment and trying to recover from your injury.

Notifying Your Employer About an Injury

You are required to notify your employer about your injury within 30 days. Failure to do so could result in the denial of your claim. However, if supervisors or co-workers know or should know about an injury, employers may have a difficult time proving an employee violated the 30-day notice provision.

You have one year from the date of the accident to file claims for medical benefits and indemnity benefits. If you have an occupational disease, you must file a claim for benefits within one year of the date you knew of the disease or had a reasonable belief the disease was related to your work.

How Long Will It Take to Receive Your Benefits?

Temporary Total Disability and Permanent Total Disability Benefits should be paid on the 14th day the employer knows of the injury. Workers do not receive compensation for the first seven days after the injury unless the disability continues for two weeks or more.

Under the law, medical benefits should be paid within 30 days of the employer receiving written notice of the work injury. Make sure to send an itemized list of out-of-pocket medical bills and receipts to your employer or his or her workers’ compensation insurer so you can receive reimbursement.

If there are any delays with your benefits, you should contact a Lake Charles workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance. As this process can become complicated, it is important to have experienced legal representation. Galloway Jefcoat has a proven track record of securing compensation.

Call today to learn how we may be able to help. (337) 984-8020.

Denied Claims

Employees are often surprised when their workers’ compensation claims are denied. However, many claims are denied, even if it seems like there is no good reason for a denial.

When this happens, you should strongly consider meeting with a lawyer to discuss possible options. The licensed attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat can review your situation to determine if we may be able to overturn the denial. The appeal process can be complicated, which is why many employees choose to hire attorneys. At Galloway Jefcoat, there are no upfront fees for our services.

Our attorneys can handle the filing of Form 1008 Disputed Claim for Compensation. Once this is filed, a mediation conference will be scheduled within 15 days. Our attorneys can represent you at the conference and attempt to secure a favorable resolution.

The next step in the appeal is litigation, assuming mediation was unsuccessful.

Contact a Lake Charles Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Help

If you are having trouble obtaining the benefits you need after a work injury, Galloway Jefcoat is here to help. Our experienced attorneys have extensive knowledge of Louisiana workers’ compensation laws.

For more than two decades, our firm has been helping injury victims recover compensation so they can move forward with their lives. We understand what victims are going through and we are committed to supporting you throughout the legal process.

An initial consultation to discuss your situation is free of charge and there are no upfront fees or obligations. Our licensed attorneys do not get paid unless our clients get paid.

Our phone lines are open 24/7 to take your call. Our office in Lake Charles is located at 417 Alamo Street, just five minutes from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Galloway Jefcoat. Licensed Attorneys. Ph: (337) 984-8020.