Many Louisiana workers have no experience with the workers’ compensation system. This unfamiliarity makes it easy for people to believe things about their options that are not true.
These misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes and unrealistic expectations, so it is crucial to clear them up.
Misconception: It’s only for severe injuries
Too many people assume that an injury must be life-threatening to support a workers’ compensation claim.
The truth: Louisiana workers’ compensation laws cover any mental or physical injury a person suffers within the scope and course of their employment. Injuries could include anything from a sprained ankle to a traumatic brain injury.
Misconception: Someone else must be at fault
Confusion over fault is another barrier to getting workers’ compensation.
The truth: Fault typically does not affect the benefits that may be available.
However, receiving workers’ compensation generally bars you from suing your employer. And if you intentionally caused your injuries, were drunk or were engaged in “horseplay” at the time of the accident, workers’ compensation likely will not be an option.
Misconception: Payouts are massive
The promise of huge payouts can cause people to have unrealistic expectations about their financial future.
The truth: Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical bills, lost wages and job training services. These benefits are critical, but they are not intended to make a person rich or punish other parties. If you want to pursue damages beyond workers’ compensation benefits, you can discuss filing a personal injury claim with a lawyer.
Misconception: You have to figure out your options alone
Pursuing workers’ compensation can be confusing and intimidating for any worker. But rather than ask for help, too many people attempt to figure things out themselves. This approach can result in oversights and mistakes that jeopardize a person’s benefits.
The truth: There are resources in place to help you understand your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve, including the Louisiana Workforce Commission and workers’ compensation attorneys.