Introduction to WC
The Workers’ Compensation Act is a tradeoff whereby employees gave up their right to recover in tort in return for assured compensation regardless of fault. In this compromise, employees lose the right to pain and suffering under the Workers’ Comp Act in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Ascension, Livingston, Zachary, Hammond, Lake Charles, and Monroe. Nevertheless, the traditional tort questions of fault and negligence are not relevant. Intentional acts, those where an injury is the result of a desire to injure the worker or where an injury is substantially certain to follow an action, can be brought in tort. The Workers’ Compensation Act covers employees working for wages in the State, as well as Louisiana residents hired to do work outside of the State, or those who were hired for employment within the State of Louisiana. It further covers non-Louisiana residents whose work is principally located in the State of Louisiana. It is presumed that persons providing services for wages are employees. Independent contractors are excluded under the Workers’ Comp Act. The Workers’ Comp Act in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Ascension, Livingston, Zachary, Hammond, Lake Charles, and Monroe covers any employee who suffers an injury by accident that occurs in the course of and arises out of his/her employment in Louisiana. “In the course of employment” relates to time and place. “Arising out of” refers to situations where the employment places an employee at risk of injury greater than the general public. An accident, under the Act, is defined as an unexpected or unforeseen event happening suddenly or violently, with or without human fault. Progressive conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, may be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act if there is a sudden onset of symptoms caused by an event or trauma. Occupational diseases that occur in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Ascension, Livingston, Zachary, Hammond, Lake Charles, and Monroe, such as asbestosis, are additionally covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The claim must be brought within one year of the disease manifesting itself, the disease becoming disabling, and knowledge that the disease is occupationally related.
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