Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for Medical Bills in Louisiana?
The average injury-related emergency hospital admission costs about $100,000. Serious injuries, like severe burns and back injuries, could easily be ten times this high. Furthermore, this figure does not include many ancillary medical expenses. Transportation costs are a good example. If job injury victims must be airlifted to a nearby hospital, this brief ride could easily cost more than $30,000.
Most Louisiana families have little or no savings, and health insurance companies routinely refuse to pay these claims. Even if the medical provider approves a payment plan, the monthly payments could strain a family’s budget beyond the breaking point.
As outlined below, a New Orleans workers’ compensation attorney usually takes care of job injury-related medical bills. Additional benefits are usually available for lost wages. So, the family can do more than take care of medical bills. Families can also continue to pay monthly bills while the job injury victim recovers, even if that recovery takes several years.
Injured workers in Louisiana usually go through several treatment phases before they are ready to return to work full time. Workers’ compensation takes care of all medical bills throughout this journey.
Trauma injury victims often spend at least several days in a hospital. It’s usually more like several weeks. After their release, they usually attend regular doctors’ appointments for several more months.
During this time, physical therapy usually begins. In many cases, physical therapists work to restore muscle strength and range of motion. Progress is steady and easy to measure.
Brain injury physical therapy is different. Therapists must gradually train uninjured areas of the brain to assume lost functions. This process is much more laborious. Additionally, progress usually comes in fits and starts. Many of these victims plateau for several weeks, and then suddenly, a breakthrough happens.
Occupational disease victims, such as job-related cancer victims, travel a different road. These individuals often undergo treatment for weeks or months at a time, followed by a few weeks or months of remission.
One way or another, workers’ compensation pays all these expenses. Many victims never see doctor bills. And, in all cases, victims are generally not financially responsible for unpaid charges.
A few claims settle almost immediately. If that happens, the insurance company usually pays medical bills directly.
Generally, however, there is at least some question as to liability. So, the case is unresolved for several months.
In these situations, attorneys normally send letters of protection to medical providers. These letters guarantee payment when the case is resolved. As a bonus, since an attorney is a good negotiator as well as a good litigator, your lawyer is often able to reduce your medical bill amount due. As a result, victims might get to keep more of their settlement money.
On a related note, job injury victims in Louisiana can typically choose their own doctors. As a result, they get the medical treatment they need, and not just the treatment the company doctor is willing to provide.
Count on an Experienced Attorney
Job injury victims do not have to worry about medical bills. For a free consultation with an experienced New Orleans workers’ compensation lawyer, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Louisiana and Mississippi.