As hardworking employees, Louisiana residents leave their houses in the morning intending to put in an honest day’s work at their office. Though they understand that their jobs may cause them some possible harm-slip and falls at the office or construction site accidents-they rarely give them a second thought because they may be taking necessary precautions. However, they may still get injured in a workplace accident due to their employer’s negligence and this can come at a financial and emotional cost.
First of all, the injury must have arisen out of and in the course of employment. A later post will discuss what falls under this category, but according to Louisiana laws, an accident is an event that happens suddenly and unexpectedly, can also happen violently, and must be an actual identifiable event either with or without human fault that directly produces an injury that is more than a general deterioration. This means it must be possible to identify the event as the accident that caused the injury and it must be unexpected. Human fault does not factor into the elements of an accident for workers’ compensation claim.
Unfortunately, just because someone is injured on the job and should ideally receive workers’ compensation benefits, it does not mean that this always happens. An employee has certain duties that they must fulfill, the most important being notifying the employer of the injury. In Louisiana, no proceedings can be started without notifying the employer within 30 days of the injury or unfortunate death. Notice can either be given by the workplace accident victim or someone acting on their behalf.
Though the language of the relevant statute seems strict, it may be possible for an experienced attorney to work around lack of notice. Not giving notice should not deter someone from claiming what they deserve. Workers’ compensation exists to protect injured workers and it is their right to claim it.