Stay Safe: Workers Compensation Insurance Baton Rouge
Finding workers compensation insurance Baton Rouge employers can trust is important to protect employees if they are injured while at work. Louisiana and Baton Rouge–area employers should have an understanding of what workers comp is, how the nuances of it can affect your business and your employees, and what is and isn’t covered by this specialized insurance.
Below is a quick rundown of what you need to know about finding workers compensation insurance for Baton Rouge businesses.
Workers Compensation Insurance Baton Rouge: What Is It?
Workers comp is an insurance coverage that protects your employees if they are hurt while working. It provides income for the employee in the event that they are unable to perform their duties or will be temporarily out of work due to an injury that occured on the job. Workers comp also covers the costs of medical expenses associated with that particular injury, including the expense of ongoing care if necessary. In the event that an employee dies as a result of injuries sustained at work, workers compensation helps cover the funeral costs.
Workers compensation insurance Baton Rouge employers have must cover all full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees, and that coverage must begin on each employee’s first day of employment. This coverage may be offered to contractors and subcontractors in some cases if they perform substantial manual labor in the pursuit of their employer’s business. These benefits must be provided to employees through private insurance, or workers must self-insure.
Not all types of employees are eligible to receive workers comp coverage: domestic employees like housekeepers and gardeners, real estate agents, public officials, and officers of nonprofit organizations are a few examples. Louisiana employers do not typically need to cover volunteer workers.
Baton Rouge workers compensation insurance benefits are available for mental and physical illness or injury that occur during the course of employment, no matter who is at fault. An accident is defined by the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act as an unexpected or unforeseen event happening suddenly or violently, with or without human fault, and directly producing at-the-time objective findings of an injury which is more than simply a gradual deterioration or progressive degeneration. An occupational disease is defined by the same act as being due to causes and conditions characteristic of a particular trade, occupation, process, or employment in which an employee is exposed to a disease; an example of this would be mesothelioma caused by working around asbestos.
The Department of Labor provides a full list of the type of expenses that workers comp covers.
Benefits Available Through Workers Compensation Insurance Baton Rouge
The ultimate goal of workers compensation insurance is to help employees recover and return to work as soon as they are able. Baton Rouge workers compensation pays for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to an injury or illness that was sustained on the job.
There are, however, a few instances where an employee would not be covered by workers comp:
- Injuries that happen before or after an employee is at work
- Injuries that happen due to mishandling of materials or when employees fail to follow safety procedures
- Injuries caused by employees on themselves
- Injuries that occur to an employee deemed the aggressor in an unprovoked physical altercation
- Injuries that happen while the employee is under the influence or violating company policy or doing an illegal act
- Stress or mental health injuries as a result of work
Injured workers are entitled to have their medical expenses reimbursed for injuries and illnesses that are work-related or caused by work. Medical care for unwell or injured employees will usually take place over a short amount of time until the worker has recovered enough to return to work. Sometimes, it becomes necessary for the employee’s care to continue for a much longer period of time, and the employer’s policy should cover that continued care.
Other benefits that are afforded to employees who become sick or injured at the workplace include mileage reimbursement for trips to and from a doctor, and vocational rehabilitation, in the event that workers are unable to return to their previous job, and need training for their new position.
Baton Rouge workers are entitled to recoup a portion of their lost wages if injury or illness prevents them from returning to work. The amount of benefits that an employee receives depends on the degree and duration of their injury, illness, or inability to to return to the workplace. If an injured employee is able to partially return to work, or return to work in a different position that offers less pay, that worker is still eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
If the employee’s injury is determined to be catastrophic—resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or the loss of multiple limbs—a larger, one-time payment may be available to that worker.
If a workplace accident results in the death of an employee, Baton Rouge workers compensation insurance provides benefits to ease the financial burden on the family of the employee. The spouse, children, and other dependents may receive weekly benefits if an employee passes away due to an injury sustained at the workplace. There is also the potential benefit of funds to cover funeral and burial expenses for the deceased employee.
What If a Baton Rouge Workers Compensation Claim Is Disputed
Baton Rouge workers compensation claims that are disputed are first reported to the employer’s individual insurance company. If the dispute cannot be easily resolved, the worker and the employer may request a hearing before a mediator from the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration. These mediators are attorneys who are trained to make decisions that align with Louisiana laws governing workers’ compensation.
If a mediator cannot resolve the dispute, the claim may be filed with the OWCA district office and then referred to a judge. If either party disagrees with the judge’s ruling, they may file an appeal with the Circuit Court of Appeals.
Canal HR Can Help with Your Workers Comp Needs
Workers’ compensation insurance is governed by complex laws and regulations that can be difficult to navigate. Canal HR is a PEO dedicated to providing premier service for Baton Rouge employers and employees. We maintain and review OSHA compliance, and in the event of an injury, we completely handle the process of filing a workers comp claim.
Canal HR can help you learn more about Baton Rouge workers compensation laws, and can help you purchase the right policy to protect your business and your employees. Additionally, we lower employers’ costs for insurance and benefits by handling administration, including human resources, and payroll taxes.
Contact us today to set up your free consultation, and we can personalize a plan to best suit your company’s needs.