What Exactly Is Workers’ Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is the system set up in each individual state to a handle accidents that happen during someone’s employment. From a policy perspective, most people would agree that these laws are there to protect the worker, but they’re also there to protect the employer. In Louisiana and in every state, you can’t usually sue your employer when you get into an accident, even if the employer has done something negligent that caused the accident. The employer is immune from a tort claim or a negligence claim by the employee. On the other hand, the employee is protected because the law requires that every employer maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy.
When a worker is injured, he’s entitled to certain benefits, including medical costs, medical bills paid, and a weekly indemnity benefit. We call this a weekly Shaman’s insurance payment, for while he’s kept off work by his doctor. The insurance is also designed to help that worker, if the injury results in a loss of his earning capacity. He can have an ongoing right to payments, even after he has recovered from his injuries.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Only Injuries Or Does It Also Cover Long Term Illnesses?
The most common application of worker’s compensation is for injuries due to accidents. They usually identify all identifiable events. However, in some cases, workplace illness can be covered by worker’s compensation. It certainly covers a long term problem or illness that is the result of a workplace accident.
What Injuries Would Not Be Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Someone who is fooling around on the job and is hurt as a consequence of their own horseplaying is not covered by worker’s compensation. Accidents that happened when the person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be covered. Also, employees who get into a fight at work because of personal differences with another employee would not be covered.
Does A Worker Have To Be Injured At Their Physical Place Of Employment To Qualify For Workers’ Compensation?
Workers have to be injured either at their physical place of employment or acting in the course and scope of employment to qualify for workers compensation. They have to be going about the business of their employer, so it doesn’t have to be at any particular physical place. It would include any errands that the person is sent on by the employer or any job-related travel.
Who Are The Liable Parties In A Workers’ Compensation Case?
The employer and the employer’s insurer for worker’s compensation are the two primary liable parties. That can be expanded, for example, in cases where an employer turns out not to have workers’ compensation insurance. Sometimes, if the employer is a subcontractor of another company, that other company can become what we call a statutory employee. The law has really broad provisions that protect workers. A very common case is a construction accident where the subcontractor who was directly paying the client doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance. Louisiana law says that if a client hires an entity to do something and that entity subcontracts all of the work, it is going to be the statutory employer of all of the subcontractor’s employees. That law is there to make sure that the general contractor is requiring all of the subs to have insurance and if it fails to do that, it’s going to be liable.
Another potentially liable party in a workplace accident would be for third-party claims against a negligent entity that is not immune from a claim because of its status as an employer. If a subcontractor’s employee is injured, that employee cannot sue, under Louisiana law, his employers. The company that contracted his employer and on up the chain are all immune under the workers’ compensation laws of Louisiana. But, if there’s another entity that isn’t in that chain who causes the accident, there may be an actual negligence or tort claim against that company and its employees.
For more information on Workers’ Compensation In Louisiana, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (225) 308-7004 today.
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