Louisiana Industrial Accident Attorneys
Representing Injured Victims or Companies Following an Industrial Accident
It is common knowledge that plants across the State of Louisiana, including chemical plants, power plants, and refineries, can be dangerous places to work. When equipment is antiquated and is not properly maintained, when employees do not receive the proper training or have the necessary credentials and experience, and when workplace safety policies are violated, serious accidents and injuries can occur on-site.
Accidents in the workplace can also occur under a variety of circumstances. If you have been injured in an accident while you were working on the job, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Louisiana’s workers’ compensation laws.
Under the law, virtually all employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. As a result, the employer’s insurance company is effectively representing the employer, and its primary interest is not providing you, the claimant, with monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained in your work-related accident. Rather, the insurance company – which is a big business – is looking to pay out as little money as possible in resolving your workers’ compensation claim. In addition to workers’ compensation liability, your employer may also be deemed negligent and can be held civilly liable under Louisiana law.
On the other hand, if you are the owner of an industrial corporation and an accident occurs, you also should have qualified legal representation to protect against unnecessary liability. Some workers will make wrongful claims to try to obtain workers’ compensation benefits to which they are not truly entitled under the law. In addition, if a third party was responsible for the accident, that party should be held liable for the losses of accident victims. Wrongful claims can increase premiums and threaten the financial success of your company, so please success your defense options with the attorneys of Hudson, Potts & Bernstein today.
Types of Industrial Accidents and Common Causes
Industrial accidents are those types of workplace accidents that typically occur in a plant setting, such as at a chemical plant, power plant, or refinery. The most common types of industrial accidents are brought about by fires and explosions and the injuries sustained can be severe. Some of the most common causes of industrial accidents include the following:
- Failure to properly maintain equipment
- Employer negligence (e.g., negligence of the plant owner or employer)
- Employee negligence
- Unavoidable accidents
- Violations of OSHA regulations
- Defective equipment
Availability of Workers’ Compensation Coverage
In Louisiana, workers’ compensation claims are governed by the Louisiana Workforce Commission – a division of the Louisiana Department of Labor. In order for Louisiana workers’ compensation laws to come into play, all three (3) of the following requirements must be met:
- The injury must be an accidental injury (i.e. without regard to fault).
- The injury must have occurred while the worker was on the job.
- The injury must have occurred while the worker was acting within the scope of (or in the course of) the worker’s employment.
If these three requirements are not satisfied, an employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits should not be granted. Proving a Negligence Case
Even when there is a basis for a workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker and/or the company may also have a cause of action in tort for negligence against a third party, such as a manufacturer that sold faulty equipment.
In Louisiana negligence cases, a plaintiff must prove the following elements in order to receive compensation for injuries and damages sustained in an industrial accident: Breach of the Duty of Care – This means that the third party owed a duty to all workers and employees to but breached (or violated) that duty in some manner or engaged in some other type of careless, reckless, or evasive action.
Causation – The third party’s breach of the applicable duty of care proximately resulted in certain injuries and damages.
Damages – Injuries resulting from industrial accidents can be very serious and long-term. Damages in Louisiana industrial accident cases may include payment of medical and physical therapy bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of spousal support, permanency, and death benefits, if applicable.
Maximizing Recovery in Louisiana Industrial Accident Cases
In order to maximize potential recovery in an industrial accident case, it is important to take the following affirmative steps:
- Document all missed time from work (i.e. in case there is a dispute later on).
- Promptly report the accident and injuries to the employer so that the employer can notify the insurance company.
- Seek immediate medical care at a hospital or urgent care facility, in order to show that the injuries were significant and that prompt medical treatment was necessary.
- Follow through with all of the emergency room doctor’s treatment recommendations and seek follow-up treatment with a primary care physician or medical specialist.
In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment, it is also important to avoid any significant gaps in your treatment. Avoiding gaps in treatment means treating continuously for the injuries sustained in the workplace accident, beginning immediately after the accident occurs and lasting until a level of maximum medical improvement is reached.
Maximum medical improvement does not necessarily mean that all of your injuries and symptoms are fully resolved. Rather, it means that your injuries and symptoms are not expected to improve much beyond the level of where they are currently.
Contact a Louisiana Industrial Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Soon after beginning your treatment for the injuries you sustained in your accident, one of the most important steps you can take is to contact an experienced Louisiana industrial accident attorney who can represent you throughout your entire workers’ compensation and/or personal injury cases.
If you have an employee accused you of liability following an industrial accident and injuries, you should consult with a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible to learn about your options for minimizing liability or recovering damages from a third party.
To schedule a case evaluation with a Louisiana industrial accident lawyer at Hudson, Potts & Bernstein, please call our office today or contact us online.