Overview of Workers’ Compensation Laws in Louisiana

A workers' compensation form on a lawyers' desk

If you’ve ever been hurt on the job, then you’re aware of just how damaging and alarming those injuries can be. For instance, accidents that happen at work can turn into injuries serious enough to cause someone to be disabled and unable to work for a certain period of time. 

Many businesses in Louisiana have to carry workers’ compensation coverage, so it’s important for not only owners to be aware of the process, but employees as well. If you have questions, Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys wants to be your source for information! Continue reading below for an overview of workers’ compensation in Louisiana, and what you should know as an employee.

What to Know as an Eligible Employee

According to the Louisiana Revised Statutes 23:1306, no proceeding for compensation shall be maintained unless notice from the employee has been given to the employer within thirty days after the date of the injury or death. 

The notice can be given by a person claiming to be entitled to compensation or by anyone on their behalf. Once an employer has been notified, they have 10 days to let the Office of Workers’ Compensation know.

Beginning a Workers’ Comp Claim

A Louisiana workers’ compensation claim can be initiated by either a Form 1008 Disputed Claim for Compensation or a formal petition. Mailing of the form or petition constitutes initiation of the claim. If a claimant chooses not to use the Form 1008, then the following information should be included in the petition:

  • Names and addresses of the parties, at minimum.
  • A statement of the time, place, nature, and cause of the injury.
  • The specific compensation benefit that’s due.

Common Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Louisiana

The workers’ compensation system was established for the employees whose income will be disrupted when they’re hurt on the job. In Louisiana, there are certain injuries that can commonly happen in the workplace, including:

A construction worker helping their injured coworker to walk

Are there Penalties for not Having Workers’ Comp? 

The law defines that If an employer fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana, there’s a set fee or fine. For the first offense, the fine is $250, and then there’s a $500 fee for each subsequent offense, with a max of up to $10,000. Failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance can also result in up to one year in jail. 

Exemptions From Louisiana Workers’ Comp Coverage

In Louisiana, if employers have 1 or more employees whose payroll is at least $3,000 annually, then they’re required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are limited exclusions to this rule for some employees listed below:

  • Non registered aliens
  • Domestic employees
  • Directors of certain nonprofits
  • Musicians and performers
  • Airplane crews while spraying or dusting
  • Licensed real estate agents
  • Anyone performing services relating to the exploration, development, production or transportation of minerals (mining)
  • Any employer acting as a common carrier while engaged in interstate or foreign trade by railroad

Injuries Covered by the Workers’ Compensation Law

A worker bringing a first-aid kit to another worker with an injured leg

Both mental and physical injuries from accidents or occupational diseases are covered by workers’ compensation. Keep in mind that a mental injury has to be the result of a work physical injury, or a sudden death, and must be proved by lucid and convincing evidence.

According to the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act, an accident is an unforeseen event happening violently or suddenly, with or without human fault. An occupational disease is defined as a disease or illness due to causes and conditions characteristic of and peculiar to the specific occupation, trade, process, or employment.

The fault of the employer or employees does not dictate the compensation for an injury. However, if the accident was due to non permitted drunkenness, or the employee’s intention was to injure themselves or others, no compensation may be given. Also, if the employee was the aggressor in an unprovoked physical altercation, there’s a chance they may not be entitled to benefits.

A Louisiana Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help You Gain the Compensation You Deserve

No matter how major or minor the injury may be at work, it’s paramount to notify your employer straight away because your time is limited to make a claim. Louisiana law stipulates a 1-year statute of limitations for most workers’ compensation claims, so file a report and see a medical professional as soon as possible.

The team at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys is here for you if you’ve been hurt while on the job! Contact our Baton Rouge law firm today at 225.888.8888 for a free legal consultation with one of our dependable workers’ comp attorneys.