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Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Claims

The Louisiana Office of Workers Compensation (OWCA) is a division of the Louisiana Workforce Commission that oversees all Louisiana workers’ compensation claims. This office has a number of specialized divisions such as: (a) Medical Services Division which oversees disputes about medical treatment, (b) Fraud Division which investigates allegations of fraud by employers or employees, and (c) Hearings Division which operates ten Hearing Offices or Workers’ Compensation Courts) throughout Louisiana.
It is provided by law that employers must have workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. The insurance company of the employer shall make sure that in case the employees of their client suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses, they can provide for the latter’s treatment. The government also allows companies to self-insure provided that they obtain the necessary certifications. If the company you work in is self-insured, they should be able to pay you directly for any workers’ compensation claim.
Like all other states, Louisiana has a no-fault workers’ compensation system. This means that you don’t have to prove that it is your employer who directly caused you injuries. Rather, all you have to prove is that you are suffering due to work-related activities and conditions.
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the facts of your claim, your benefits may include:

  • reasonable and necessary medical care
  • temporary total disability benefits (for time off work)
  • permanent disability benefits
  • catastrophic injury benefits
  • vocational assistance (job training and education), and
  • death benefits

Workers’ compensation is your remedy against your employer and his insurance company. Conversely, the Workers’ Compensation Act protects them by reason that you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, in specific situations where there is a third party that deliberately and maliciously caused you harm, you can file a lawsuit against the alleged offender. This, however, won’t fall under the Workers’ Compensation Act and all that it provides.

Mission and Vision
Louisiana Workforce Commission hopes to make the state of Louisiana the most conducive state to start and grow a business. It aims to be the best workforce agency in the United States of America.
The mission, according to their website, is very straightforward. It is “To put people to work”.
The core values of this office are: (1) Integrity and Respect, (2) Open Communication, (3) Accountability, (4) Teamwork, (5) Continuous Improvement, and (6) Adaptability.
While the office seeks to help employees, they also have to take into consideration the interests of the employers. Now, if you are involved in workers’ compensation, know that your employer will naturally avoid payouts as much as possible. They have lawyers that you need to counter and the burden of proving that your injury is because of your work and that there is an inevitable causal link is really on you. You also need to be well-advised and careful to make sure that you get what you deserve because the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Office needs to see that you, indeed, truly deserve to be awarded benefits. It’s a fair system ideally, but, it could always be worked around. You need to prepare yourself for this.

References for District Courts:

District 1E
Judge Brenza Irving-Jones
Tikisha Smith, Mediator
Camelia Antie, DRS
1401 Hudson Lane, Suite 301
Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 362-3078
(800) 209-7321
Fax (318) 362-3083
Parishes Served: Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, West Carroll

District 1W
Judge Linda Smith,
Rosa Whitlock, Mediator
LaTonya Martin, DRS
9234 Linwood
Shreveport, LA 71106
(318) 676-5331
(800) 209-7173
Fax (318) 676-5332
Parishes Served: Bossier, Bienville, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Red River, Webster

District 2
Judge James Braddock
Amy Brown, Mediator
Brandi Mason-Iles, DRS
3724 Government St.
Alexandria, LA 71302
(318) 487-5966
(800) 209-7329
Fax (318) 767-6085
Parishes Served: Avoyelles, Evangeline, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, St Landry, Vernon, Winn

District 3
Judge Charlotte Bushnell
Chantell Smith, Mediator
Deborah Garriet, DRS
120 W. Pujo Street, Suite 200
Lake Charles, LA 70601
(337) 214-6800
(888) 768-8745
Fax (337) 491-2208
Parishes Served: Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis

District 4
Judge Sharon Morrow
Judge Adam Johnson
Dianne Mayo, Mediator
Vacant, DRS
556 Jefferson Street, First Floor
Lafayette, LA 70501
(337) 262-1057
(800) 209-7174
Fax (337)-262-1106
Parishes Served: Acadia, Lafayette, Vermilion

District 5
Judge Pam Moses-Laramore
Judge Jason Ourso
Denise Lee, Mediator
Shameeka Kaufman, DRS
224 Florida Street, Suite 100
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
(225) 219-4378
(800) 209-7175
Fax (225) 219-4377
Parishes Served: East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, West Baton Rouge

District 6
Judge Gwendolyn Thompson
Myles Donahue, Mediator
Janice Westereng, DRS
112 Innwood Drive, Suite E
Covington, LA 70433
(985) 871-1258
(888) 575-6149
Fax (985) 871-1264
Parishes Served: Livingston, St Helena, St John the Baptist, St Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington

District 7
Judge Shannon Bishop
Caroline Minor, Mediator
Sloane Sullen, DRS
880 Commerce Road, Suite 401
Harahan, LA 70123
(504) 736-8606
(866) 253-5830
Fax (504) 736-8608
Parishes Served: Jefferson, Plaquemines, St Bernard

District 8
Judge Robert Varnado
Judge Catrice Reid
Kelly James, Mediator
Christine Melford, DRS
1450 Poydras St.,Suite 838
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 568-6952
(800) 209-7232
Fax (504) 568-8706
Parishes Served: Orleans

District 9
Judge Elizabeth Lanier
Julia DeFusco, Mediator
Debra Duplantis, DRS
8026 Main Street, Suite 404
Houma, LA 70360-3407
(985) 857-3775
(800) 262-1497
Fax (985) 857-3781
Parishes Served: Ascension, Assumption, Iberia, Lafourche, St Charles, St Martin, St James, St Mary, Terrebonne

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