Louisiana workers’ compensation law requires employers to carry insurance for every employee.
Every employer in Louisiana is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance or must be approved for self-insurance. Any employee who is full- or part-time, including seasonal staff and minors, must be covered.
If a business is owned by a sole proprietor who has no employees, the owner does not need to carry workers’ compensation. This would also be the case if it’s a partnership with co-owners and no employees.
An employer that fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance could be fined up to $250 per employee for the first violation and $500 per employee for each subsequent violation, up to a $10,000 maximum.
An employer can also be charged with a criminal violation for willfully failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance or for providing false information to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the entity that oversees workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana.
The employer could also be served an injunction requiring that it stop doing business until the correct workers’ compensation policies are obtained.
Estimated employer costs for workers’ compensation in Louisiana are $1.45 per $100 in covered payroll, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance [PDF].
The cost is determined by the level of risk assessed for each employee’s job. In other words, an employee whose profession involves more hazardous working conditions (construction, roofing, landscaping, etc.) would likely have a higher cost than someone who has a desk job. Your cost is based on the average risk assessment for all of your employees.
If a worker dies as the result of a job-related injury, Louisiana presumes that the surviving spouse and children are dependent and entitled to benefits. There are a few conditions:
Other family members who were financially dependent on the deceased worker might be eligible for Louisiana workers’ compensation death benefits if they are living in the deceased worker’s household. Unmarried partners are ineligible unless they’re receiving benefits on behalf of shared children.
The maximum compensation is $665 per week in 2019:
If there are no dependents, adult children receive $75,000 divided among them.
Workers’ compensation insurance also provides for burial and funeral expenses up to $8,500.
If a workers’ compensation settlement is reached, in most cases, the insurer will pay the injured worker a lump sum. Once a settlement is agreed upon, it includes disability benefits and medical coverage, and the worker can no longer make claims against the insurance company or the employer related to that accident or injury.
If a worker is already receiving workers’ compensation benefits, he or she can get a commutation, which means the weekly benefits could be added up and discounted to the present value (reduced by up to 8% per year), and then paid out as a lump sum. This avoids a full and final settlement.
The workers’ compensation laws in Louisiana encourage benefits to be paid on an ongoing basis rather than as a lump sum settlement.
In Louisiana, the worker must file a workers’ compensation claim within one year from the date of injury, or one year from the date that a disability was diagnosed. It can be no longer than two years following the date of the accident or injury.
Start a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes from leading U.S. carriers for your small business. Insureon’s licensed agents specialize in insurance for a variety of Louisiana businesses.