Answers to Our Frequently Asked Questions

When you are involved in an accident or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice or abuse, you may not even know the right questions to ask at first. Browse our collection of frequently asked questions to see what others have asked and read our answers to learn all you can about your case.

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  • What are OBRA standards, and how do they relate to my case?

    Many different types of evidence can be used in a claim for nursing home abuse, including violations of OBRA standards. Retaining an attorney is the best way to learn what type of evidence will help you build a solid claim for compensation.  Standards for nursing home care Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    About OBRA​

    The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), also known as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, is federal legislation that sets standards for nursing home care and is interpreted within the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 483). The legislation was signed on December 22, 1987 by President Ronald Reagan after the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging conducted extensive investigations into the quality of care seniors were receiving in long-term care facilities across the country.

    The law's impact was seen immediately. Facilities were required to eliminate physical or chemical restraints unless they were medically necessary, avoid the routine prescribing of antidepressants, and improve monitoring of medication therapy.

    Today, individual states are responsible for certifying that their nursing homes meet OBRA criteria. To certify facilities, states must conduct extensive surveys no more than 15 months apart that include multiple resident interviews. If a specific complaint has been filed against a facility, a targeted survey must be conducted as part of the investigation.

    Nursing homes that don't meet OBRA standards aren't allowed to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. They also face heavy fines, the appointment of temporarily assigned facility managers, or the permanent closure of their facilities. Specific penalties are determined by the nature and severity of the violation. In some cases, facilities are given a chance to correct the issue before a penalty is assessed.

    Key OBRA Guidelines for Nursing Home Care

    The most essential parts of OBRA guidelines are sometimes described as a Resident's Bill of Rights. Key points include:

    • Create comprehensive care plans for each resident's unique needs upon admission, then update plans periodically
    • Respect the dignity of each resident, regardless of mental or physical limitations
    • Allow residents reasonable personal privacy
    • Let residents communicate freely and voice grievances without fear of reprisal or discrimination
    • Provide services that enhance each resident's quality of life to the fullest extent possible
    • Allow residents the right to choose appropriate schedules, activities, and healthcare services

    Some of the specific requirements that related to potential claims of nursing home abuse include:

    • Provide balanced meals that maintain good nutrition and a healthy weight
    • Promote fluid intake to prevent dehydration
    • Take steps to prevent pressure sores, and properly treat any sores that do develop
    • Provide grooming and personal hygiene services as needed
    • Provide appropriate care to residents with urinary incontinence, but restore bladder function if possible
    • Take steps to prevent falls, poisonings, and other accidental injuries
    • Allow residents to use assistive devices as needed
    • Take steps to prevent significant medication errors
    • Keep complete, accurate, and easily accessible clinical records
    • Have the nursing staff at levels sufficient to meet care needs
    • Allow residents to safely bank funds for personal use

    Using OBRA Violations to Support a Claim for Nursing Home Abuse

    OBRA outlines the minimum level of accepted care for nursing home residents. If a nursing home violates OBRA standards and this violation is linked to your loved one's injuries, you have a valid nursing home abuse claim.

    In this type of civil action, you can seek compensation for medical expenses related to the abuse and any pain and suffering your loved one has experienced. If your loved one has died due to improper care, you can seek wrongful death compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering up to the time of death, as well as funeral and burial costs. Punitive damages may also be available, depending on the circumstances.

    Retaining legal representation is the best way to protect your loved one's rights throughout the process of resolving your claim. The award-winning attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are dedicated to helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their loved ones who have been harmed by nursing home abuse. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.

     

  • How can I get my elderly parent to talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer?

    The recommended first step in any nursing home abuse claim is talking to a lawyer with experience in handling these types of civil actions. However, your elderly parent may be reluctant to speak to an attorney. In this instance, understanding your parent’s specific reasons for objecting and educating him about the process is the best approach.  Talking to a nursing home abuse attorney Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    Why Victims Are Reluctant to Come Forward

    Some of the reasons victims of nursing home abuse are reluctant to come forward include:

    • Shame or embarrassment
    • Lack of understanding about what behaviors consistent abuse
    • Being intimidated by the legal system
    • Wanting to protect privacy
    • Believing nobody will be able to change the situation
    • Worrying about the expense involved in taking legal action

    How to Convince Your Parent to Come Forward

    There are several strategies you can use to persuade your parent to speak to a nursing home abuse attorney. You can:

    Stress that they did nothing wrong.

    There is no need for your loved one to feel shame or embarrassment because of the actions that have occurred. Nursing home staff have a professional obligation to assist residents, much like doctors have a professional duty to provide appropriate care for their patients. Abusive behavior violates this expectation and is never acceptable under any circumstance.

    Offer to attend the meeting for moral support.

    If your parent has not been involved in legal action previously, he may be nervous about understanding the process or worried about being taken seriously. Planning to attend the meeting together may offer him some comfort.

    Explain that nursing home abuse comes in many forms.

    Some residents may be reluctant to come forward if they believe that only physical abuse is against the law. Letting your parent know that verbal abuse, sexual abuse, medication theft, misuse of financial resources, and neglect related to understaffing are also against the law may help him see the situation in new light.

    Outline what compensation is available.

    A nursing home abuse claim can include compensation for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Punitive damages could also be received if there is a pattern of particularly severe neglect or a pattern of disregard for the safety of residents in the nursing home. Depending on the circumstances, your parent's testimony may also be used in a criminal case or an administrative action against the people involved in the abuse. These issues are separate from the nursing home abuse case, however.

    Explain that taking action can help protect others.

    Generally, nursing home abuse doesn't occur in a vacuum. If one resident is being mistreated, it's likely that others are, too. Let your parent know that his case could force the implementation of policies that could protect others from suffering similar abusive treatment.

    Point out there is no upfront cost.

    Nursing home abuse cases are a type of personal injury claim. Thus, lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means, they accept a percentage of the settlement as the fee for representation instead of asking for upfront payment. If the case can't be resolved, there is no charge.

    Testimony From a Victim With Dementia

    Nursing home abuse is against the law regardless of a resident's physical or mental limitations, but cases involving people with dementia can be more difficult. Your parent can still testify, but supporting evidence such as medical records, bank statements, or testimony from witnesses will also be needed.

    If your parent's condition has reached the point where he can no longer understand the legal process of filing a claim, a guardian ad litem will be needed. This is a person, normally a spouse, adult child, or other family member, who files the claim on the victim's behalf and makes decisions to protect his best interests.

    How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team is dedicated to helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their loved ones who have been the victims of nursing home abuse. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • How can I use traffic camera footage to support my personal injury claim?

    Proving liability is a vital part in establishing your personal injury claim for injuries related to an auto accident. In cases where it's not immediately obvious who is at fault, video footage can become valuable evidence. Using traffic camera footage

    Using Traffic Camera Footage to Help Your Case

    The law enforcement officer who fills out your initial accident report is not required to provide you with a listing of nearby traffic cameras, so learning about sources of footage will require a bit of personal detective work.

    The availability of traffic camera footage for your personal injury claim depends on where you were when the accident occurred. If you were on a highway or heavily trafficked thoroughfare, you have a much better chance of finding footage from a nearby camera. You can travel back to the scene of the accident to look for signs of cameras that may have captured the event, but do not confuse traffic cameras with road safety cameras. These devices are intended to enforce specific rules of the road such as obeying speed limits, stopping at a red light, and paying road tolls. They only take still photos when a violation occurs and do not record continuous video footage.

    Another factor to consider when determining if traffic camera footage will be helpful evidence in your personal injury claim is how long it has been since the accident occurred. When it comes to accessing footage, time is of the essence. In many cases, footage is only kept for 30 days or less due to storage limitations.

    Alternatives to Traffic Camera Video

    Traffic camera footage is certainly helpful, but it's not the only source of footage that may be available. Other options to consider include:

    Business Surveillance Video 

    If your accident occurred near a restaurant, gas station, or retail store, the business's surveillance video may have captured the event.

    Home Surveillance Video

    Homeowners who are concerned about theft often incorporate video surveillance into their security systems. These cameras may have captured your accident in a residential neighborhood.

    Bus Camera Footage 

    In some cases, school buses and public transit buses are equipped with cameras as a safety precaution. If you were traveling near the bus when the accident occurred, it could have been caught on tape.

    Private Dash Cam ​Footage

    Dash cams are most often associated with police cars, but a surprising number of private citizens have these cameras in their vehicles. If there are witnesses to your accident, it's worth asking if they have dash cams installed in their cars.

    Obtaining Footage

    Although you may get lucky and be able to obtain footage of your accident with a polite request, you will most likely need an attorney's assistance to access the footage. Government-owned traffic camera footage is generally not available without a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and/or subpoena. Businesses also tend to have strict regulations that limit who they will provide their security footage to.

    Obtaining Footage as a Partially at-Fault Driver

    Louisiana law allows you to receive personal injury compensation for accident-related injuries if you are a partially at-fault driver, but your settlement is proportionally reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. However, since there is no set formula used to determine percentage of fault, it may still be worth the effort of obtaining footage if you believe you are partially at fault for the accident. Your memories of the event may be incorrect, or your attorney may be able to use the footage to increase your compensation by negotiating a lower percentage of fault.

    How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    If there is no relevant video footage of your accident, don’t assume you don’t have a viable personal injury claim. Many different types of evidence can be used to establish liability, including witness testimony, vehicle damage reports, law enforcement accident reports, and testimony from accident reconstruction experts.

    The experienced legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to protecting the rights of Louisiana residents who've suffered serious car accident injuries. Our attorneys can gather evidence to prove liability, document your applicable damages, and negotiate with the other driver's insurance company on your behalf. This will maximize your compensation for accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to learn more.

     

  • Can I afford to hire a mesothelioma lawyer?

    It's not uncommon to experience financial difficulties after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Between increased medical bills and an inability to earn a living, many patients often struggle to make ends meet—and the thought of taking on legal expenses may seem impossible.

    Fortunately, many mesothelioma lawyers represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means clients don't have to pay anything up front to receive legal assistance.

    Contingency Fees Give Victims Access to a Mesothelioma Lawyer

    couple_with_lawyerMany injury victims don't have the funds to hire an attorney, even if they could receive a great deal of money by filing a legal claim. Contingency fees offer a way for mesothelioma victims to get quality legal representation without going into debt.

    When an attorney is retained under a contingency agreement, he or she assumes the cost of filing fees and court expenses until the case is over.

    Rather than charging an hourly rate, the attorney is paid with a portion of the settlement he or she is able to obtain for the client. If the case isn't successful, the attorney does not collect a legal fee.

    While it's possible for victims to represent themselves in these cases, it's usually more cost effective and beneficial to the case to hire an attorney. As our client, our mesothelioma lawyers pay for court costs and fees on your behalf until the claim is settled, allowing you to keep your money when you need it most.

    We're also experienced with these types of cases, and can advise you on:

    • Whether you can sue. To establish the viability of the case, we examine your work history to determine how and where you were exposed to asbestos, as well as which companies may be liable for your illness.
    • How to pay for costs right now. Many mesothelioma patients qualify for public benefits, such as Social Security disability, workers’ compensation, or VA disability.
    • The value of your claim. Mesothelioma lawyers are adept at calculating the full amount of a person’s losses, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
    • Time limits. Each state places a limit on how long a person has to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, and an attorney can ensure these deadlines are met.

    In addition to working on a contingency fee basis, the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault offers free initial consultations to all mesothelioma patients, allowing them to make informed decisions whether or not they choose to retain us.

    Simply fill out the contact form on this page to get started or learn more about your options in our free eBook, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.

     

  • When are knee replacement complications considered medical malpractice?

    Every surgical procedure involves some inherent risk, but complications from a knee replacement can be considered medical malpractice. If you're the victim of knee replacement malpractice, you're entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Knee replacement malpractice

    About Knee Replacement Surgery

    Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a procedure that involves replacing some or all of the components of the knee joint with a synthetic implant. The procedure is intended to fix damage to weight-bearing surfaces of the knee, thus reducing pain and allowing for greater range of motion. In most cases, the damage to the knee joint is caused by osteoarthritis.

    The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that about 300,000 Americans undergo knee replacement surgery each year. This number has almost doubled over the last decade, due to an aging population. The prosthetic joints used in knee replacements will eventually wear out, but most people experience pain relief and an improved quality of life for 15 years or more.

    Potential Complications From a Knee Replacement

    Some of the complications that patients may experience after a knee replacement include:

    • Infection
    • Stroke
    • Heart attack
    • Nerve damage
    • Blood vessel injury
    • Loss of range of motion
    • Movement impairment
    • Chronic stiffness
    • Chronic pain
    • Urinary tract infection
    • Pulmonary embolism

    Complications can result in the need for additional surgery, added time in the hospital, an inability to return to work as planned, and difficulty performing the tasks of everyday living such as cleaning your home and caring for your children.

    Meeting the Standard of Malpractice

    You’re not entitled to compensation simply because your knee replacement surgery was less successful than you had hoped. To have a valid malpractice claim, you must be able to prove that your orthopedic surgeon was negligent and that this negligence caused your surgical complications.

    Negligence means that the surgeon acted in a way that violates the accepted standard of care for your condition. For example, a surgeon who failed to monitor for signs of post-op infection would be acting in way that goes against what a competent professional would do in the same circumstances.

    After you've established negligence, you must show that this negligence caused your complications. If the complications were caused by another unavoidable factor or by your own failure to follow post-op care instructions, this does not meet the standard for malpractice.

    Typically, meeting the standard for malpractice relies heavily on the testimony of medical experts. These are professionals with expertise who can clarify the standard of care and cause of your complications.

    Statute of Limitations

    Some knee replacement complications are immediately apparent, while others are not noticed until the patient fails to heal and return to his daily routine within the expected timeframe.

    Louisiana law requires you to file a malpractice claim within one year of the action that forms the basis of the case. However, if your complications develop later and the malpractice is thus not immediately known, the statute of limitations is extended to one year of the date on which damages are actually or could reasonably have been discovered but no more than three years after the date of your surgery.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex, and hospitals have extensive legal teams available to protect their interests. If you suspect you have been the victim of medical malpractice related to knee replacement complications, it's essential that you retain an attorney who can help document your damages, prove liability, and negotiate for the highest possible settlement.

    Malpractice attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no upfront cost for representation. Your attorney will ask for a percentage of the final settlement as the fee for service.

    The award-winning legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to protecting the rights of Louisiana residents who've been harmed by a healthcare provider's negligence. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.

     

  • Can I file a lawsuit if I’m getting other types of benefits because of my mesothelioma?

    A mesothelioma diagnosis can force a person to retire early while facing expensive medical bills. As a result, many people rely on public benefit programs to pay for the high cost of treatment. However, many patients can file a lawsuit in addition to collecting public benefits, giving them the maximum amount of financial support they need. Mesothelioma lawsuits when you receive other benefits

    Mesothelioma Patients May Be Eligible for Several Benefit Types

    Even if you are currently receiving multiple types of benefits for your mesothelioma, you can still file a third-party lawsuit to get compensation for your disease. A successful claim can be worth much more than the amounts offered through benefit programs and can provide compensation for pain and suffering—a cost typically not covered by medical and wage replacement benefits.

    You may be able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit in addition to collecting:

    Workers’ Compensation 

    Most asbestos exposure occurs in the workplace, making employees eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers who file these claims may recover for costs related to treatment as well as a portion of lost wages.

    Social Security Disability 

    Mesothelioma is a recognized condition under the Social Security disability program, and claimants usually qualify for expedited payment.

    Medicare

    If you are over age 65 or you have been approved for Social Security disability benefits, you may also qualify for Medicare. This insurance coverage can be used to pay for the medical costs of your illness.

    Veterans' Benefits 

    If you were exposed to asbestos during your time in the military, you may be eligible for disability and healthcare benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If you choose to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you should know that these claims are filed against the manufacturers or distributors of the products containing asbestos that caused your illness, not the military or federal government.

    The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault know how overwhelming a mesothelioma diagnosis can be. That is why we offer a free consultation for all mesothelioma clients, and we do not charge for our services until after your claim is settled. Simply fill out the contact form on this page, or learn more about your options in our free eBook, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.

     

  • What happens if a dog bites me while I am working on someone else’s property?

    It's estimated that 4.7 million Americans suffer dog bite injuries each year. The majority of these victims are young children, but people who frequently travel to private residences while doing business are also vulnerable to dog bite attacks.

    If you've suffered dog bite injuries, it's important to understand your legal options and compensation for accident-related expenses.  Workers' comp for dog bites

    Dog Bite Dangers

    A number of Louisiana workers are vulnerable to dog bite injuries including:

    • Postal workers and delivery people
    • Door-to-door salespeople
    • Home healthcare workers
    • Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and others who do home repair

    Dog bites can cause severe bleeding and pain, as well as nerve damage, scarring, and infection. The risk of complications is higher if you have diabetes, liver disease, or any medical condition that suppresses the immune system.

    Dog bite attacks can also result in secondary injuries such as a concussion if you fall and hit your head or a broken ankle if you trip while trying to escape the animal.

    Filing for Workers' Compensation

    If you suffer a dog bite while performing duties for your employer, this injury should be covered by workers' compensation. Louisiana's workers' compensation system covers most full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers from the first day of employment. Since workers' compensation is a no-fault system, you can still receive benefits even if you somehow provoked the animal.

    Medical benefits pay the cost of reasonable and necessary medical care related to your dog bite injury such as immediate emergency care, diagnostic tests, surgeries, follow-up visits, and prescriptions. Indemnity benefits pay a portion of your lost wages for the time you are unable to work due to the dog bite injury.

    To protect your right to compensation, it's important to report the dog bite injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Although superficial bites can be cleaned and covered with an antibiotic ointment at home, there is still the possibility of infection and complications in the healing process. If you don't report the injury within 30 days, you can lose your right to benefits.

    Potential Civil Claims

    When you enter someone's property to perform work, the property owner is legally responsible for taking precautions to prevent you from becoming injured. If the property owner acted negligently in failing to restrain or otherwise secure the dog that bit you, you may also have a civil claim for your accident-related expenses.

    A civil personal injury claim can include compensation for:

    • Medical expenses, including anticipated future medical costs due to disability caused by your injuries
    • Lost wages, including anticipated loss of future earning potential due to disability caused by your injuries
    • Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and mental trauma

    If you have the option of filing both types of claims, you should take this approach to maximize your compensation. Workers' compensation does not include payment for pain and suffering, so filing both types of claims will be financially beneficial. However, when you do receive a personal injury settlement, the workers' compensation insurer will have a lien on a portion of the funds. You are not allowed to receive benefits from a personal injury claim that duplicate the medical care and wage benefits already paid by your workers' compensation insurer.

    There is a one-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in the state of Louisiana. However, since valuable evidence can be lost as time passes, it's best to start the process as soon as you are able.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    A dog bite attack can create a significant financial burden, especially if you're left with permanent disfigurement or nerve damage. Since you may be eligible for both workers' compensation benefits and a personal injury settlement, it's important to protect your rights by retaining an attorney who can advocate for your interests.

    The dedicated legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault provides injured Louisiana workers with effective and aggressive representation. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your legal options.

     

  • What is the likelihood my wrongful death case will settle out of court?

    Wrongful death claims are a type of personal injury lawsuit that encompasses deaths from auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and much more. Typically, these cases are settled out of court. However, going to trial may be the best solution in certain circumstances.  Wrongful death settlements

    Damages Included in a Wrongful Death Settlement

    Typically, a wrongful death settlement includes the following types of damages:

    • Medical care received as the result of the deceased person's final illness or injury
    • Loss of the deceased person's future income to support his spouse and children
    • Pain and suffering in the deceased person's final moments
    • Loss of the deceased person's care and companionship
    • Reasonable funeral and burial costs

    Generally, cases involving younger victims will have the highest settlements. When a case involves an older person, future life expectancy and earning potential are less.

    Punitive damages are not an automatic part of a wrongful death settlement. But they can be included if the conduct that caused the wrongful death was particularly reckless, malicious, willful, wanton, or extremely negligent.

    Expert testimony is typically necessary to establish the value of damages. For example, a medical expert may be called on to testify if death would have been instantaneous or if the deceased person would have suffered in his final moments. Economic experts will likely be needed to estimate the value of future lost earnings, given the deceased person's education, current occupation, and anticipated life expectancy.

    While no amount of money can replace your loved one, pursuing a wrongful death settlement can provide a sense of closure and alleviate some of the financial burden that resulted from your loved one's untimely death.

    Settling a Case Out of Court

    It is difficult to obtain precise figures regarding how often wrongful death claims are settled out of court because this type of case can include so many different forms of wrongful death. However, most experts estimate about 90% of cases are settled before trial.

    The likelihood a case will go to trial often depends on how clear-cut liability is. For example, if a patient dies as the result of a surgical object being left inside the body, this is a "never event" in healthcare that can't be attributed to any cause other than negligence. However, if someone dies in an auto accident where poor weather or the actions of the deceased person may have been contributing factors, determining liability becomes much more complicated.

    Factors to Consider Before Accepting a Settlement

    Some of the factors that should be considered before accepting a settlement include:

    • Your attorney's assessment of the value of your case
    • How long it would take for a trial to be completed
    • Potential delays in going to trial
    • If there are recent examples of similar claims with positive or negative results
    • Potential weaknesses in your case
    • Potential weaknesses in the evidence presented by the defendant
    • The possibility of being required to pay the other side's attorney fees if you were to lose at trial
    • Unfavorable publicity that may result from the trial
    • If a trial might force the discourse of trade secrets or confidential business

    Remember that accepting a settlement in a wrongful death case means that you have no further legal recourse. You can't later decide to ask for additional damages if you realize the settlement was too low.

    Collectability of Damages

    In wrongful death cases involving a large corporation as the defendant, collectability of damages is normally not an issue. Large companies have substantial insurance policies and a fair amount of assets that can be used to pay a settlement. However, if your wrongful death case involves an individual who is underinsured, you may need to consider whether going to trial in hopes of a larger settlement is worth the time. Even if you have a strong case, a high settlement is only valuable if the defendant has the resources necessary to pay the damages in full.

    How an Attorney Can Help

    Even though most wrongful death claims will be settled out of court, you shouldn't forego legal representation. An experienced attorney can advocate for your interests throughout the process of resolving your claim. This helps ensure you receive a settlement that will fairly compensate you for the loss of your loved one.

    The award-winning legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault has extensive experience handling wrongful death cases. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.

     

  • What is considered a catastrophic injury in a Louisiana workers' compensation claim?

    Although most people will eventually recover from their work-related injuries, some types of accidents can result in permanently disabling conditions. These injuries may be considered catastrophic under Louisiana law. Workers' comp catastrophic injuries

    About Catastrophic Injuries and Workers' Compensation

    Most Louisiana workers, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers, are covered by workers' compensation on their first day of employment. Claims must be paid for on-the-job injuries, even if the employee's inexperience or actions caused the accident. However, injuries resulting from intoxication or a deliberate attempt at self-harm are not eligible for benefits.

    Catastrophic injuries are those which will result in significant medical costs and dramatically alter an injured worker's quality of life. Only the following types of injuries are considered catastrophic under Louisiana law:

    • Paraplegia, which is a type of paralysis affecting bodily function from the waist down
    • Quadriplegia, which is a type of paralysis resulting in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and the torso
    • Amputation of hands or arms
    • Amputation of feet or legs
    • Physical loss of both eyes

    Although other conditions may result in high medical expenses, reduced earning potential, and changes in quality of life, only paralysis and physical loss of a body part are considered catastrophic injury. Functional loss or loss of use of the hands, arms, feet, or legs does not constitute anatomical loss.

    Benefits for Catastrophic Injuries

    If your injury is considered a catastrophic injury, you are eligible for a one-time award of $50,000. This is in addition to other workers' compensation benefits such as:

    Medical Treatment 

    Workers’ compensation must pay for reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your work injury. This includes hospital bills, doctor visits, prescription medications, and any applicable prosthetic devices.

    Mileage Reimbursement 

    You are entitled to be reimbursed for mileage for travel to and from doctor appointments.

    Temporary Total Disability

    TTD benefits replace two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a state approved maximum, until you've reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).

    Permanent Total Disability

    PTD benefits also replace two-thirds of your average weekly wages, subject to the same maximum as TTD benefits. These benefits can be paid for as long as the disability continues. You are considered totally disabled only if you cannot earn any wages in the same job or another job.

    Permanent Partial Disability

    PPD benefits replace two-thirds of your average weekly wages, subject to the state maximum, for a length of time that depends on the part of the body injured. For example, someone with 100% loss of use of an arm can receive benefits for up to 200 weeks.

    Vocational Rehabilitation 

    If you are unable to return to your normal job due to your disability but still have the ability to perform some type of labor, you can receive applicable placement services to help find suitable employment.

    In some cases, your employer may offer you a lump sum settlement in exchange for a release of further obligations. While receiving a large settlement upfront may seem appealing at first, it is important not to accept the offer until you've determined that it adequately compensates you for your injuries. If you accept a lump sum settlement, you could be in financial peril if you later discover your expenses are higher than you anticipated.

    Protecting Your Legal Rights

    A catastrophic injury can dramatically alter the course of your life. Hiring a workers' compensation attorney to handle your claim is the best way to ensure that you receive the full benefits you deserve after suffering a serious work-related injury.

    An attorney can advocate for your right to full benefits and handle any claim denials that you may encounter. When your workers’ compensation claim is denied, or any portion of the claim is disputed, you have the legal right to a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. If the judge does not rule in your favor, your attorney can file an appeal with the Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The award-winning legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is dedicated to providing injured Louisiana workers effective and aggressive representation for their workers' compensation claims. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • How long does a mesothelioma lawsuit take?

    Right now, time may be constantly on your mind. You may be thinking about the time until your next doctor’s appointment, the time that it will take to get your affairs in order, and whatHow Long Will My Mesothelioma Case Take? to do with the time that you have left to live.

    Mesothelioma is a devastating diagnosis and you want to make the most of the time that you have left with your loved ones. You don’t want to start things that you can’t finish or burden your loved ones after you are gone.

    Where does that leave you if you are considering a mesothelioma lawsuit?

    Every Mesothelioma Case Take a Unique Amount of Time—But Your Lawyer May Able to Speed Your Case Up

    Many mesothelioma cases go faster than you might think. Your attorney may be able to get a preferred trial date because of your medical condition. Even after your case is filed, your lawyer will continue to negotiate a settlement to try to resolve your case fairly and quickly.

    How long it will actually take depends on numerous factors including, but not limited to, the quality of the evidence available in your case, how complex the evidentiary and legal issues are in your case, and how aggressively your lawyer fights for you. Some cases may be resolved in a few months and other cases may take more than a year to complete.

    A Mesothelioma Case Won’t Burden Your Family If it Continues After Your Death

    Even if your mesothelioma lawsuit continues after you pass away, it will not create a burden for your family. Instead, the day to day work will be done by the lawyer that you hire rather than your loved ones. Your lawyer will continue to work to get the fair compensation that your family deserves and may be able to secure your family’s financial future so that they don’t have to worry about money while they grieve.

    Call a Mesothelioma Lawyer Today

    Your lawyer will focus on protecting your rights and your recovery while you focus on your medical treatments and your family. It won’t cost you any money and it will only cost you a little bit of time to contact our experienced lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation today. Once we begin work on your case, you can devote your time to the people and causes you choose while we work on your legal case. All of our work will be done on a contingency fee basis which means we won’t charge you for our services until your case is resolved. Then, our fee will be a previously agreed upon percentage of your legal compensation. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 today to schedule your free consultation and to begin getting the legal help that you deserve.