Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system exists to help injured workers make ends meet while they heal. The amount worker’s comp pays to each worker is dependent on a number of factors, including the scope of the injury, how long recovery should take, and others.
An injury suffered while on the clock can cause a huge disruption in your life, your finances, your career path, and even your general well-being. Louisiana offers multiple types of worker’s compensation benefits that you may be eligible for. Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today, as well as help putting your claim together.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If you’re physically unable to perform any kind of work while recovering from your work-related illness or injury, you could receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. These benefits kick in after your first week off work, unless your disability lasts at least two weeks. TTD benefits continue until you no longer need regular medical treatment and your doctors can determine whether you’ll be permanently disabled as a result of your work injury or illness.
TTD benefits are paid weekly at two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time you were injured, but with limits defined by state law. The maximum weekly TTD benefits are 75% of the statewide average weekly wage, and the minimum benefits are 20% of that wage.
Supplemental Earnings Benefits
If you’re able to work at all after your injury, including self-employment, you can’t receive TTD benefits. However, you may be eligible for another type of benefit, called supplemental earnings benefits, if you’re unable to earn at least 90% of your pre-injury wages.
Supplemental earnings benefits exist to supplement your minimized earnings while you’re unable to make as much as you did before the injury, and they’re calculated as 2/3 the difference between what you earned before your injury and what you’re able to earn now.
For example, say you earned $2,000 a month before your injury. After being injured, you’re able to do some light work, but you can only get paid $1,500 a month for that work. Your supplemental earning benefits would be calculated as 2/3 of the difference between those two, or $333.
Once you’ve completed the initial medical treatment for your workplace injury, the doctor will determine whether you’ve been left permanently disabled, and to what extent. If you have been permanently disabled, you could be eligible for the following benefits:
- Permanent total disability, if you can prove you’re unable to do any type of gainful work, including self-employment, regardless of the type of work or if work causes you pain. If you meet this narrow definition, your TTD benefits can continue for as long as the disability exists.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD), is for less-serious types of permanent disability that don’t completely preclude you from working. These benefits are two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages, and are calculated in one of two different ways:
- Scheduled PPD benefits are intended for “anatomical loss of use” of body parts such as limb amputation or eye loss. Your benefits will last according to a schedule in Louisiana law.
- Unscheduled PPD benefits last for up to 100 weeks, and apply if you suffer one of the following permanent impairments:
- Serious impairment to your respiratory, gastrointestinal, or genito-urinary systems
- Serious disfigurement
- Hearing loss (only if caused by a single traumatic event)
Catastrophic Injury Benefits
Finally, Louisiana pays a one-time award of $50,000 to victims of certain types of catastrophic workplace injuries, such as third-degree burns on 40% or more of the body, paralysis, or a total loss of extremities or eyes.
The Importance of Hiring a Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The Louisiana worker’s comp law is comprehensive, but also extremely complicated. You need a lawyer with experience navigating these waters to help you maximize the compensation you can receive for your workplace injury. The worker’s comp attorneys with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have over 679+ years of combined legal experience helping Louisiana workers injured on the job recover the benefits they’re owed, and we can help you too.
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