In New Orleans, LA back injuries are common in the workplace, even in jobs where you might not expect them to occur. Tripping, falling, repetitive motion, and far more serious incidents can also injure workers.
- A nurse injured her back while restraining a patient in a mental health facility.
- A trucker injured his back while making a delivery.
- An exterminator injured his back while lifting a motor—after being on the job for less than a week.
- A factory worker injured his back while lifting a heavy object.
No matter what type of work your employees do, it is your responsibility as an employer to help them pay for medical expenses if they are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance, which is required for most employers in Louisiana, helps injured workers pay for medical bills and lost wages due to work-related injuries and illnesses.
A local independent insurance agent can help you find suitable workers’ compensation insurance for your New Orleans business.
Is Workers’ Compensation Required in New Orleans?
All full-time, part-time, seasonal, and minor employees in New Orleans must be covered by Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance. Coverage must begin on the employee’s first day of employment.
Subcontractors and independent contractors may be considered employees if they are performing substantial manual labor in the pursuit of the employer’s trade, business, or occupation.
Domestic employees, most real estate agents, uncompensated officers and directors of some nonprofit organizations, and public officials are exempt from Louisiana’s workers’ compensation requirements. In addition, some volunteer workers and a variety of other unique employee classifications—such as musicians—do not need to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana.
Employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees through private insurance or they must self-insure. Benefits are available for mental and physical illness or injury occurring in the course of employment, regardless of who is at fault.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost in New Orleans?
Louisiana partners with the National Council for Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an independent rating and data collection bureau, to assign workers’ compensation rates for every industry.
The NCCI assigns classification codes to every occupation. Each classification code is assigned a base rate for workers’ compensation insurance. High-hazard class codes have higher rates than low-hazard class codes.
Your workers’ compensation premium is based on how many employees you have, your total payroll, your class codes, and your history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims. Your annual payroll at the beginning of the policy period is divided by 100, and then multiplied by the base rates for your class codes.
While numerous private insurance companies can sell workers’ compensation insurance in New Orleans, the rates are set entirely by the state. Louisiana has some of the highest workers’ compensation rates in the US. Some insurance companies may be able to offer discounts or credits to qualifying employers.
The following are samples of average annual rates paid per every $100,000 in employee payroll for three of the top industries in New Orleans:
- Accommodation & Food Services: $1,210
- Healthcare: $2,190
- Professional, Scientific & Technical Services: $320
Workers’ compensation insurance protects your New Orleans business and your employees from the costs of work-related injuries and illnesses. In order to minimize worker injuries and keep workers’ compensation premiums under control, employers must design and implement effective safety and risk management programs and make safety a top priority for all employees.
Contact an independent insurance agent in New Orleans for Louisiana workers’ compensation quotes.
New Orleans Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers Employee Medical Expenses
Your injured workers are entitled to have medical expenses related to a work-related injury or illness paid for by your workers’ compensation insurance.
Typically, the medical care takes place over a short period until the injury or illness has resolved. But sometimes it is necessary to cover an employee’s medical expenses for a much longer term, or even for life. The ultimate goal of workers’ compensation insurance is to help workers recover and return to work as soon as possible.
Louisiana workers’ compensation pays for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to an on-the-job injury or illness. Benefits include mileage reimbursement as well as vocational rehabilitation for workers who are unable to return to their previous job.
New Orleans Workers’ Compensation Insurance Includes Wage Replacement Benefits
New Orleans workers are entitled to a certain amount of wage replacement if they are unable to work as a result of a workplace injury or illness. The amount of disability benefits that an employee receives is dependent on the degree and duration of their disability, or inability to return to work.
Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance helps injured workers recoup a portion of their lost wages if they are unable to work during their recovery period. Benefits are paid for temporary disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability.
The benefit amount an employee receives is based on the length and severity of the disability and whether the employee is able to return to work completely, partially, or to a different position that offers less pay.
A one-time payment of $50,000 may also be available if the employee’s injury is determined to be catastrophic (e.g., it results in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or the loss of two limbs).
Death or Survivor Benefits under New Orleans Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If an employee dies as a result of a workplace accident, workers’ compensation insurance provides death or survivor benefits to ease the financial burden on the worker’s surviving family.
A worker’s spouse, children, or other dependents can receive weekly death benefits when the worker passes away due to a work injury. What’s more, the family can receive up to $8,500 in funeral and burial expenses for a deceased employee.
What Happens When Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Disputed?
Any Louisiana workers’ compensation claims that are in dispute can be reported first to the employer’s insurance company.
If the dispute cannot be resolved, either party can request a mediation conference with a mediator from the Office of Workers’ Compensation. These mediators are licensed attorneys who are trained to mediate disputes in accordance with Louisiana workers’ compensation laws.
Claim disputes that are not resolved by the mediator may be filed with the OWCA district office and may be referred to a Workers’ Compensation Judge for resolution.
Find the Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance in New Orleans
Workers’ compensation insurance is governed by a set of complex laws and regulations. To learn more about Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance and obtain quotes for your New Orleans business, contact a local independent insurance agent.
A local agent can help you learn more about the state’s workers' comp laws, and can help you purchase the right policy to protect your business and your employees.