In Louisiana and the New Orleans area, most employees are covered by worker's compensation for injuries that occur while they are at work. The Workers' compensation regime is a legal remedy that allows an employee who is injured on the job to get certain benefits from their employer without having to litigate their case under typical tort principles and without having to establish that their employer is at “fault” for their injuries. These benefits can include medical care for the injury, wage benefits, vocational rehabilitation services, and/or death benefits.
A common misconception is that if you are injured on the job, even by a third person, your exclusive remedy is worker's compensation. This is not the case. For example, if you were driving for work and were rear ended by a third party and injured in that car accident, you still can make a claim with worker's comp with your employer for your injuries and get medical treatment through worker's comp, and also make a claim for the same injuries against the third party. Because workers comp has a right to get reimbursed for payments that they have made to you and also have a duty to contribute to the costs and attorney's fees of pursuing the third party tortfeaser, these cases can be very complex. For example, litigating these issues entails not just simply collecting from the third party, but also evaluating the worker's compensation lien, how much may be owed, how much it can be reduced, or the future exposure of worker's comp, all of which can be very complicated.
If you have been injured by a third party while working, please contact us for a free consultation on your claim. If you are a firefighter, policeman, state trooper, or other servicemember who was injured at work, we offer significantly reduced attorney rates.
- Megan C. Kiefer is a partner and trial attorney at Kiefer & Kiefer, who specializes in car accident and injury litigation.