Workers' Compensation Laws in Louisiana Include Range of Workplace Injuries, Both Physcial & Mental
We’ve all experienced accidents at work. Ranging from minor to major injuries. Imagine you are at work and all of a sudden you trip on a trash can and stumble forward—catching yourself before you face plant on the floor. You try to play it off as if you planned the entire thing and go about working as if nothing ever happened. The next day—thankfully your dignity still intact—you start to get dressed but realize you can’t because your back and neck are extremely sore as a result of the miraculous save the day before. What do you do now? You can barely move, let alone go into work. What if it’s something worse than just a sprained muscle? Who is going to pay for it if you have to go to the hospital or need physical therapy? According to the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer should.
Under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act, injuries—both physical and mental—caused by accidents proven to have occurred in your place of business, or as a result of your job, should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Common Forms of Physical Injuries That Occur in the Workplace
Physical injuries can be extremely painful and can cause weeks, months, or even years of prolonged discomfort. Most physical injuries that occur at a place of business are easily identifiable and therefore relatively easy to show proof of its existence. Common forms of workplace injuries include cuts, sprains, broken bones, muscle strains, and head and neck problems. Most of these injuries occur in one of five ways:
- Overexertion – According to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, overexertion is the number one cause of workplace injuries. When overworking yourself, physical and mental fatigue can cause poor judgment and safety concerns.
- Repetitive motion injuries – Caused by doing the same actions over and over again can put tremendous strain on muscles, tendons, and joints causing pain and muscle deterioration.
- Vehicle or machine injuries – This can include cuts, bruises, broken bones, crushed limbs, blunt force trauma and amputations.
- Personal accident and reactionary injuries – These occur when your actions alone cause the injury. Walking into a door or window, muscle trauma caused by overextending and stumbling, and improper use of equipment are all good examples.
- Slipping and tripping – Wet or slippery surfaces that were not properly marked or cleaned can cause many problems.
Common Forms of Workplace Mental injuries
Not all injuries can be identified by bruises and cuts. Sometimes an event can be extremely traumatic and cause irreparable damage to your psyche. However, emotional and psychological injuries are difficult to see and to prove. If you are in a stressful environment and feel you may have suffered a psychological injury—seeking professional help immediately may help prove the injury exists.
- Psychological trauma brought on by physical trauma can make you scared to continue working because you associate work with pain
- Mental breakdown – Work pressures and responsibilities can become overwhelming and can feasibly cause a mental breakdown. This is why vacations are sometimes mandatory for certain jobs, helping to avoid those breakdowns.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – On rare occasions, a robbery or violent crime can happen at the work place—causing PTSD. Many times this makes it impossible for you to disassociate the traumatic event from the current situation.
Whether you love your job or hate it, working is a large part of everyone’s lives and should always be in a safe environment. However, accidents can happen at any time in any place. As a precaution, make sure you’re aware of your employer’s workers’ compensation guidelines and benefits to help avoid any surprises if you’re involved in a workplace accident.
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