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Louisiana Workers Compensation Laws: Benefits and Coverage

Last updated: November 19, 2023

The Louisiana Workers Compensation Laws are designed to offer security and support to workers who face injuries or illnesses due to their jobs. These laws play a pivotal role in maintaining workplace safety and ensuring employees get the necessary care and compensation in times of need.

Overview of Louisiana Workers' Compensation Laws

Louisiana's Workers' Compensation Laws serve as a protective shield for workers. If injuries happen on the job, workers get benefits. For employers, this means fewer legal battles. It’s a system that emphasizes care over courtrooms. Both parties, therefore, benefit from a clearer, simpler process.

Benefits of Compliance with Workers' Compensation Laws

Protection from Lawsuits

One of the most significant advantages for employers is the legal immunity they gain. By committing to the state's workers' compensation system, they greatly reduce the risk of facing costly and time-consuming lawsuits from injured employees. This saves money and fosters a more positive work environment where employees know they are supported and employers don't constantly fear litigation.

Financial Stability for Workers 

An injured worker has enough to worry about in terms of recovery. With the backing of workers' compensation laws, they don't have to stress about their finances. This system ensures that they receive compensation for their medical expenses and often a portion of their wages, providing them with a cushion during their recovery period. This financial assistance can be instrumental in helping injured workers and their families navigate tough times.

Efficient Claims Process 

Nobody wants to be mired in paperwork and long-drawn processes when dealing with an injury. Louisiana's workers' compensation laws have structured a more direct and efficient claims process. This means faster approvals, less bureaucratic red tape, and quicker access to funds and medical care for the injured. Both employers and employees benefit from this efficiency, reducing downtime and expediting recovery.

Who is Covered Under Louisiana's Workers' Compensation Laws?

The extent of the coverage provided by Lousiana’s workers compensation laws varies based on the worker's status. Let's delve into the specifics of who gets covered under these laws.


Every individual employed within the state, be it on a full-time or part-time basis, is generally eligible for workers' compensation benefits. This means whether an employee works 40 hours a week or just a few, they can seek assistance if injured while executing their job duties. This broad coverage underscores Louisiana's commitment to worker welfare.

Independent Contractors

The line between employees and independent contractors can sometimes blur. In Louisiana, while independent contractors don't automatically fall under the umbrella of workers' compensation, many can still qualify. The eligibility here hinges on the specifics of their contract and the actual nature of their work. For instance, if an independent contractor's work environment and duties closely mirror that of a traditional employee, they might be covered.

Domestic Employees

Domestic workers play a crucial role in many households. From housekeepers to nannies, they ensure the smooth running of homes. However, when it comes to workers' compensation, the rules are a bit more nuanced. Not all domestic employees are automatically covered. Instead, they need to meet certain conditions specified by Louisiana law, like working a set number of hours or days, to qualify for benefits.

Business Owners/Sole Proprietors

Running a business comes with its set of challenges and risks. In Louisiana, those at the helm of a business, such as sole proprietors or business owners, have the option to protect themselves under the workers' compensation laws. While they're not automatically included, they can proactively choose to be part of the system. This elective coverage can offer peace of mind, especially if the nature of their business exposes them to potential injuries.

What Injuries are Covered by Louisiana's Workers' Compensation Laws?

The workers' compensation system is structured to protect workers from various health hazards that can arise in various job settings. The laws acknowledge both immediate incidents and gradual health declines due to work environments. Let's break down the specifics:

Work-Related Injuries or Diseases

  • Immediate Accidents: Situations like falls, cuts, or burns that happen suddenly during work are covered. So, if an employee trips over a wire and breaks a bone, they can seek benefits.

  • Repetitive Stress Injuries: These injuries result from repeated motions over time. Carpal tunnel syndrome, often seen in people who type a lot, is an example.

  • Hearing or Vision Loss: If an employee suffers a reduction in their hearing capability due to constantly working around loud machinery, they're eligible for compensation. Similarly, eye injuries or vision issues due to job conditions are also covered.

  • Mental or Emotional Injuries: Though trickier to diagnose and link directly to work, certain traumatic events or continuous stressors at work can lead to psychological injuries. These, too, can be covered if proven to be work-related.

Occupational Diseases

  • Prolonged Exposure Diseases: If an employee is consistently exposed to harmful substances or environments, the gradual health effects are recognized. For instance, a worker exposed to asbestos might develop mesothelioma.

  • Respiratory Illnesses: Jobs that involve working with dust, chemicals, or other air pollutants can lead to diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis, or other lung-related conditions.

  • Skin Conditions: Constant contact with irritants or allergens specific to a job can result in skin diseases. For example, a chef frequently exposed to certain foods might develop contact dermatitis.

What Benefits Are Available to Covered Employees?

In Louisiana, the workers' compensation system offers a comprehensive range of benefits tailored to assist injured workers. These benefits not only cover immediate medical costs but also offer support in cases where the worker faces prolonged incapacity or, in the most tragic of cases, death.

Medical Care and Expenses

  • Immediate Medical Attention: In the aftermath of an injury, all immediate medical care expenses, such as emergency room visits, surgeries, or hospital stays, are covered.

  • Ongoing Treatment: This includes follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and any required rehabilitation sessions to help workers return to their previous capacity.

  • Medications: Any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs advised by the treating doctor to aid recovery are covered.

  • Medical Equipment: Necessary equipment like crutches, wheelchairs, or even specialized beds to aid in the recovery process are included in the compensation.

  • Travel Expenses: If an injured worker has to travel to get the appropriate medical care, mileage or transportation costs can be reimbursed.

Weekly Wages/Compensation Coverage

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If a worker is unable to return to any form of work temporarily, they receive compensation based on a percentage of their average weekly wages.

  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): For workers who face permanent limitations but can still perform some work, compensation varies based on the extent of the disability.

  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Employees who can return to work but not at full capacity or earning potential might receive a compensation difference.

Death Benefits

  • Immediate Expenses: The immediate costs of funerals and burials are covered to reduce the financial strain on grieving families.

  • Dependent Compensation: Surviving spouses and children, or other dependents, are entitled to a percentage of the deceased worker's average weekly wage for a specified duration or until certain conditions are met.

How Are Claims Filed and Paid Out in Louisiana?

  1. Immediate Notification: Always notify the employer as soon as possible after an injury. This ensures that the process starts without delays.

  2. Medical Documentation: While seeking medical care, thorough documentation of the injury's cause, extent, and required treatments can be vital evidence when filing the claim.

  3. Filing the Initial Claim: The injured worker often needs to fill out initial paperwork provided by the employer or the state's workers' compensation board detailing the nature and circumstances of the injury.

  4. Employer's Role: Employers are required to report the injury to their insurance company and the state's workers' compensation board. They play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth processing of claims.

  5. Claim Review: Once the claim is submitted, it's reviewed for validity. If there's any dispute or doubt about the claim, it can enter a resolution process.

  6. Receiving Benefits: Upon approval, workers may receive direct payments, or they might need to submit medical bills for reimbursement. The specific method often depends on the insurance provider's policies.


How long do I have to report an injury?

In Louisiana, it's recommended to report immediately, but the law gives a window of 30 days.

Can my employer choose my doctor for treatment?

Typically, employers provide a list of approved doctors. However, if you're unsatisfied with the provided care, there are provisions to see another doctor.

Is there a waiting period before I can start receiving benefits?

Yes, there's usually a waiting period after the injury before benefits kick in. In Louisiana, you typically have to wait seven days. If your disability lasts longer than 14 days, you may be compensated for those first seven days.

Can I file a claim if I had a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by my work?

Yes, if a pre-existing condition is worsened or aggravated due to your job duties, it can qualify for workers' compensation benefits. However, the benefits would cover only the portion of the injury or illness related to the work-related aggravation, not the original condition.

Can I be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim?

No, Louisiana law prohibits employers from firing or discriminating against an employee solely for filing or pursuing a workers' compensation claim. If you believe you've been retaliated against, you may have grounds for a separate legal action.


Understanding Louisiana Workers Compensation Laws is crucial for both employees and employers. They are built to protect the rights and well-being of the workforce while also shielding businesses from potential lawsuits. By adhering to these regulations, a balance is struck, ensuring a safer and more harmonious working environment for everyone.

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Chloe Powers
Chloe works with policymakers on behalf of Disability Help to support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organizations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change.
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