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Injuries for which workers' compensation can be awarded

Workers in Louisiana who have been injured or made ill because of their job might be under the impression that they will automatically receive workers' compensation benefits. However, it is important that those who are seeking these benefits understand certain factors. The basic ones are often the most complicated, and that holds true with the injuries that are covered under the law. Before seeking benefits, it is key to know this foundational issue.

Mental and physical injuries that came about from an accident or occupational disease may be covered. With a mental injury, it must come about from a physical injury or a level of stress that was unexpected, extraordinary and is linked to the job. It is required that there be clear and convincing evidence provided to receive benefits. The law defines an accident as an incident that was unexpected and unforeseen. It must have happened suddenly or violently, and can either be due to human error or not due to human error. It must produce the objective assessment that an injury came about, and it was more than a gradual deterioration or degeneration that came about progressively.

The law defines an occupational disease as a disease or illness that came about because of factors that are characteristic to the trade, employment, process or occupation that the employee was a part of. The medical issues must have come about because of the employment. In general, fault of the employer or the employee is not factored in to whether there will be compensation. There will not be compensation if the injury was caused because the employee intended to injure himself or others. Similarly, there will be no compensation if the employee was intoxicated, unless it resulted from activities that were in the interests of the employer or in which the employer encouraged the worker to use the intoxicating substance.

A worker might not receive benefits if there was an altercation with another employee and he or she was the aggressor and it was unprovoked. There might be benefits if so-called "horseplay" was going on and that led to the injury. Workers who suffer workplace injuries in a workplace accident or have an illness or condition due to their work might be eligible for workers' compensation. Knowing the injuries that can be covered is imperative, and a lawyer can help with a case.

Source: laworks.net, "What Injuries Are Covered By The Workers' Compensation Law?," accessed on March 27, 2017

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