Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system is designed to help workers get the medical treatment they need after they are injured on the job, and to help them cope with the loss of income they experience while they are recovering and unable to return to work. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy for injured workers to get through the system and get the benefits they need in a timely manner.
Workers can select one doctor of their choice in each specialty for treatment of their work-related injury. The worker’s employer, or the employer’s insurance provider, must pay for all approved, necessary expenses associated with this medical treatment, as well as reasonable and necessary travel expenses.
Going beyond those requirements, the details get more complicated. To be covered, the medical expenses must be considered necessary and approved. Other than emergency services, any medical expenses over $750 must be pre-approved. If a non-emergency medical service is going to cost more than $750, the healthcare provider must request authorization through a specific form.
The paperwork and bureaucracy involved in workers’ compensation benefits can be overwhelming, and any mistake can lead to big problems. Remember that insurance companies have every incentive to withhold payment, and they are very skilled at finding errors in paperwork.
For these and other reasons, it can be important to have help from an attorney with experience in workers’ compensation law early in the process. An attorney can help the injured with paperwork, advise them on their rights and options, and argue on their behalf, should a dispute arise.