Louisiana's Workers' Compensation Insurance Law

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Who needs workers’ comp insurance in Louisiana?

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.

The few exceptions to this are domestic employees, real estate salespeople, some people who volunteer for nonprofit organizations, and some public officials.

Do you need workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana if you are self-employed?

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.

 

What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp insurance in Louisiana?

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.

 

What is the average cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana?

The average cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana is $1.45 per $100 of wages earned per worker.

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.

 

Workers’ compensation death benefits in Louisiana

If a worker dies as a 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:

  • The surviving spouse must be living with the worker at the time of death.
  • For children to be eligible dependents, they must have lived with the worker at the time of death, are under age 18, or are physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to earn a living.
  • Children must be under the age of 23 and full-time students.

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:

  • The surviving spouse can receive 32.5% of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage.
  • A surviving spouse and one child can receive 46.25%.
  • A surviving spouse and two or more children can receive 65%.
  • A surviving child can receive 32.5% if there is no spouse, two children would share 46.25%, and three or more children would receive 65%.
  • A dependent parent can receive 32.5% if there is no spouse and no children, and two dependent parents could receive 65%.
  • If there is no spouse, children, or parents, a dependent sibling could receive 32.5%, with 11% for each additional sibling up to 65%.

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.

 

Workers’ comp settlements in Louisiana

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.

 

Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in Louisiana

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.

 

Compare free workers’ comp quotes with Insureon

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.

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Workers' compensation insurance: Further reading

See workers' comp laws where you live