If you are a Louisiana worker with a pre-existing permanent partial disability and sustain a subsequent work-related injury, you are entitled to receive increased workers’ compensation benefits for your now more serious disability. Your claim for benefits, however, must go before Louisiana’s Second Injury Board before you can receive increased workers’ compensation payments for your subsequent injury.
Despite its name, the Second Injury Board handles not only second injuries, but any injury you receive at work that exacerbates your pre-existing condition. The person who files your claim can be any of the following:
- Your employer if (s)he is self-insured
- Your employer’s insurance company
- A third-party person who administers your employer’s workers’ compensation claims
- An attorney who represents your employer or his or her insurance company
To receive benefits, your employer must file a Notice of Claim form with the Second Injury Board, attach an injury report and as much supporting documentation as possible, and establish the following:
- That your pre-existing permanent partial disability poses an obstacle to your obtaining employment
- That your employer knew about your pre-existing permanent partial disability before you suffered your subsequent injury
- That workers’ compensation covers your subsequent injury
- That you would not have sustained your subsequent injury if not for your pre-existing permanent partial disability
- That your disability from your subsequent injury is greater than it would have been had you not had a pre-existing permanent partial disability
Claim and appeal
One of the above listed parties must file your claim with the Second Injury Board within 52 weeks after you receive your first workers’ compensation payment for your pre-existing permanent partial disability. Should the Board deny your claim, you must appeal within 30 days to either the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge or for the parish where your injury occurred.