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The First Steps to Filing a Work Injury Claim

Published on Jul 24, 2023 at 9:20 pm in Work Accident.

The First Steps To Filing a Work Injury Claim
Employment opportunities are quite expansive in Baton Rouge and surrounding Louisiana cities. A previous listing of our state’s top 50 employers in The Advocate newspaper listed at least nine Baton Rouge companies on their list, including health care facilities such as dialysis centers and medical centers, heavy equipment rental operations, asset protection firms, interior design product manufacturers, construction, and colleges and universities, as employing a significant number of your fellow residents.

With such a diversified job market as we have here in Baton Rouge, there comes a strong potential for workplace injuries. Perhaps you were made aware of protocols your employer expects you to follow for reporting if you get hurt while on the job during an orientation or onboarding session when you were first hired. Those details may also be contained in an employee handbook that you have stowed away somewhere.

There is a chance, though, that you’ve never been provided with any information from your employer about their notification preferences if you sustain injuries while at work. You, therefore, may be unclear about the steps you need to follow if a situation arises in which you need to consider filing a work injury claim. We’ll go over those first steps that are critical in doing so below.

Notify Your Louisiana Employer of Your Workplace Injury

It’s always a best practice to notify your employer of an on-the-job accident that could have potentially caused you mental or physical harm as soon as possible after it occurs. By doing so, it should trigger the human resources officer or other person charged with handling potential workers’ compensation claims to:

  • Complete an incident report.
  • Tell you whether you may be covered by their workers’ compensation policy, and if so, about your workers’ rights to file a claim.
  • Give you information about the workers’ compensation process, including how to seek compensated medical care.

In terms of the latter point above, injured employees must generally fill out the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Office of Workers’ Compensation First Report of Injury or Illness (Form LWC-WC-IA-1) to receive all the benefits such as compensated medical care and lost wages that our state’s labor laws afford you.

Eligibility To File Additional Claims Following a Workplace Accident

Our experience is that most employees realize that they will likely be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim after suffering injuries on the job, provided horseplay or other negligence on their part didn’t contribute to them getting hurt. However, few workers seem to realize that there are often other paths to recover compensation for what they’ve already endured and may need to weather moving forward after getting hurt on the job.

We’re specifically talking about the ability to file personal injury claims when workplace accidents resulted from a third party’s negligent actions. Examples of work-related incidents that may entitle you to file a civil lawsuit against someone else for the injuries you’ve suffered include after a:

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Product malfunction
  • Visit to dangerous premises
  • Exposure to toxic substances

It’s important to note that, just like workers’ compensation scenarios, it’s generally unnecessary for the onset of your injury to have occurred at your traditional or standard workplace to be eligible to file a workplace accident claim against a fellow Baton Rouge motorist, a product manufacturer, a Louisiana property owner, or other negligent parties. In fact, our legal team at Bianca | Matkins even helps Baton Rouge residents going about their everyday lives under similar circumstances while not on their employer’s clock.

Steps To Take After Suffering a Third-Party Workplace Accident

You’ll remember where we stressed the importance of notifying your employer of the onset of any workplace injuries so that they can prepare an incident report earlier in this article. If you’re unable to immediately notify them because you’re knocked unconscious, for example, you should do so as soon as possible after it occurs. It’s important that you’re clear about who or what may have caused your injuries, as this report will come in handy if you decide to file a third-party work claim.

Also, of course, it’s critical to notify landlords, management, and proper authorities of injury incidents as well sometimes. For example, filing a police report may be necessary following car or truck accidents. You should tell a store, office building, or property owner if you fall while visiting their place of business and perhaps also call law enforcement. Both parties may want to make an incident report.

Consider taking the measures described above, even if you don’t initially feel hurt. Just be careful to only stick to the facts in reporting what happened. Again, any reports you file can greatly impact your ability to recover compensation for injury-related expenses.

Receiving medical care immediately following the injury incident is important. Even being checked out if you don’t initially feel unwell is ideal and is a good practice. It creates a baseline for the state of your health. Just remember anything you say to a medical provider will also be documented.

Once you’ve documented your injuries, it’s time to consider filing a workplace injury claim against the third party who harmed you.

How To File a Third-Party Work Injury Claim in Louisiana

When it comes to taking legal action against a liable party for your injuries, you can file a claim with their insurer by reaching out to them. You can file a lawsuit with a work injury lawyer’s assistance.

Keep in mind that if you do communicate with an insurance company yourself, they’re not your friend. You have to be super cautious about what you say and do, or otherwise, you may jeopardize your ability to seek compensation—especially if it makes you appear to have contributed to causing your injuries.

One of the benefits of working with an attorney when filing a work injury claim or lawsuit is that a lawyer will know what to do and say so as to not expose yourself to liability. Additionally, legal counsel can ensure you’re aware of statutes of limitations and any special notification requirements that may apply to your case.

We’d be more than happy to discuss your case with you during a free initial consultation. Reach out to Bianca | Matkins to discuss the first steps to filing a industrial accident work injury claim that you may want to follow if you’ve been hurt on the job in Baton Rouge today.

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