In general, Louisiana workers’ compensation benefits provide medical treatment and lost wage benefits. Unfortunately, compensation for pain and suffering damages is not provided.
The benefits provided for a Louisiana workers’ compensation claim include:
- Medical treatment. If you were hurt on the job, you are entitled to medical treatment with your choice of physician in any field or specialty that is considered reasonable and medically necessary considering your injury. What is reasonable and medically necessary is listed in the Louisiana Medical Treatment Guidelines. These guidelines list specific treatment that is recognized as reasonable and necessary for certain conditions. However, the treatment must be preauthorized and approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier should pay for such preapproved treatment, which would include doctor appointments, hospitalizations, surgery, therapy and prescription medicine. You are also entitled to mileage reimbursement for travel related to medical treatment.
- Lost wage benefits. If you’ve been unable to work for at least fourteen (14) days as a result of your accident and injury, you may be entitled to weekly income benefits of two-thirds of your average weekly wage. (maximum of $688 as of 2020). These benefits are called temporary total disability benefits. If you are able to return to work but your income is sufficiently reduced by the injury, you may be eligible for supplemental earnings benefits. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, these two types of benefits may continue for up to 520 weeks. If you are permanently and totally disabled, such payments can be paid for life.
- Vocational training. If your injury prohibits you from performing the job you used to do, workers’ compensation can help you finding other work.
- Death benefits. If you die as a result of a work injury, your family may be entitled to recover death benefits and funeral expenses. This would typically involve a surviving spouse and minor dependent children. However, if unmarried and have no children, your other family members, such as parents or siblings may be entitled to death benefits.