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Understanding LA Workers’ Compensation Laws

Louisiana business owners should understand LA workers’ compensation laws before an accident happens. This will ensure you are well informed and able to take the necessary steps when an accident happens. Not understanding LA workers’ compensation laws could lead to paying penalties or facing a potential lawsuit if one of your employees is hurt. Instead, it is best to brush up on Louisiana laws, so you can avoid that scenario and inform your employees about their coverage.

The Basics of LA Workers’ Compensation Laws

Employers and employees should be aware of a few of the basics and frequently asked questions of workers’ compensation in Louisiana law. There are many similarities to other states and some notable differences that need to be understood. By doing so, you can be well prepared for a workplace injury and make the appropriate decisions and requests if an injury occurs. Many of these laws are written to protect both parties, and it’s important to always communicate clearly and efficiently in the case of an injury. 

Insurance is Required

Before you have an accident, you are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance in almost all cases if you employ workers in Louisiana. As one of the many mandatory employee benefits, workers’ compensation insurance covers your employees in the event of an injury. It also protects your business if an employee has large medical bills or an extended leave due to an injury. The average cost of a workplace injury totals around $42,000, so not only is workers’ compensation insurance mandatory, but it is also an effective form of risk management.

Indemnity Benefits

Indemnity benefits cover lost wages due to an injury. In Louisiana, there is a maximum weekly payment of $660. This maximum will not wholly replace your lost wages for many employees, especially high earners, but it is meant to be supplemental during your time away from work. Indemnity benefits are among many workers’ compensation benefits, but this weekly payout is intended only to cover your time away from work.

Medical Coverage

Workers’ compensation also covers the medical bills related to the accident. The insurance provider pays for these expenses, but you need permission to cover bills over $750. This requirement is waived in emergencies, but the insurer typically has to give permission for medical treatments before receiving them.

The insurer also needs to give permission if the injured employee wants to change doctors. You can choose specialists, but you need permission if you want to change from one specialist to another. The employer can also request the injured employee to see their preferred doctor for a second opinion. Though it is not a requirement, refusing to do so may be suspicious.

Travel Expenses

Your employer may also cover any reasonable travel expenses associated with treatment. For example, if you cannot travel and your employer asks you to see a doctor, they are responsible for covering your costs related to traveling to that appointment. This may also include flights or other forms of transportation in some circumstances, but they must be necessary. Insurance companies do not usually cover unnecessary expenses, so travel expenses will usually get scrutinized. 

Vocational Rehabilitation

Louisiana is one of the states that have rehabilitation laws in place. Employers are required to actively assist hurt employees in their return to work. If you are disabled and unable to return to your job, the employer is required to assist you in finding a new and comparable position. This is done through a hierarchy of options focused on getting employees back to work as soon as possible.

Wrongful Death

In the tragic circumstances that a death occurs on the job, Louisiana law requires the employer to pay benefits to the employee’s family. These settlements are typically much higher due to lost income, higher medical bills, and funeral expenses.

Looking for a LA Workers’ Compensation Provider?

Workers’ compensation laws get much more complex after the basics and having an organized and efficient insurance provider equipped to take care of your employees. Canal HR offers our clients a workers compensation managed care program and attentive risk management to ensure your employees are not only cared for at a fraction of the cost but also in an environment that is safe.

Canal HR is a Professional Employer Organization, meaning we partner with small businesses to offer the more competitive rates typically given only to large corporations. That means you can purchase workers’ compensation insurance at a fraction of what it would typically cost for a small business, and we will handle the rest.

Contact Canal HR to hear more about our workers’ compensation insurance.