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With the right preparation, a Louisiana Workers Compensation Pre-Trial Mediation Conference offers an excellent opportunity to either resolve your claim or to streamline the issues that must be decided by the Workers Compensation Judge at trial.

Before the Mediation Conference, you and your attorney should have a detailed discussion about what each of you expects to accomplish at the meeting. To get maximum results from the Louisiana Workers Compensation Pre-Trial Mediation Conference, your attorney should send a letter to the attorney that represents the Workers Compensation insurance company well in advance of the Conference outlining your perspective of what would be required in order to resolve the claim through settlement.

If you would like to resolve your Louisiana Workers Comp case through a lump-sum settlement and your offer is for more than a few thousand dollars, it's very important that your attorney send the letter at least a few weeks before the Conference so that the opposing attorney can confer with the claims adjuster, the claims manager, your ex-employer and anyone else that must be involved in the process. This will provide them with an opportunity to discuss your offer and agree upon a response.

More than one person may need to approve the appropriation of money the Workers Compensation insurance company will offer in settlement of your claim. The internal rules of the Workers Compensation insurance company may require that all discussions be documented in writing or that each claim must discussed in a conference involving numerous staff members on regularly scheduled meeting days. 

Therefore, you will usually need to begin preparing well in advance of the Louisiana Workers Compensation Pre-Trial Mediation Conference if you hope to use the Conference to work out a settlement of your claim.  You're unlikely to be able to reach a settlement at the Mediation Conference if you wait until the Conference to make your initial offer. 


There are some important differences between Louisiana Workers Compensation trials and trials held in other courts, such as Louisiana District Courts or the Federal District Courts.

  • Louisiana Workers Compensation trials are something of a mix between a District Court trial and a typical Administrative Hearing, such as a Social Security Disability Hearing. But all Louisiana Workers Compensation trials are before a Louisiana Workers Compensation Judge and you will never have trial before a jury in a Louisiana Workers Compensation case.
  • One of most important rules of law is res judicata, which generally means that once a legal matter has been decided by a court and all of the rights of appeals have expired, the matter is decided and may not be brought before the court, or another court, again. This rule works a little bit differently in Louisiana Workers  Compensation claims. While it'is true that the Louisiana Workers Compensation Act states that "[a] judgment denying benefits is res judicata after the claimant has exhausted his rights of appeal," the Louisiana Workers Compensation Judge retains the right to reopen a case to reconsider virtually any other type of issue as long as the matter is brought before the Court within the legal time limits.
  • The Rules of Evidence are handled somewhat differently in Louisiana Workers Compensation cases than in District Court cases. The Louisiana Workers Compensation Act states:
    The workers compensation judge shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence or procedure other than as herein provided, but all findings of fact must be based upon competent evidence . . . .
    The Louisiana Workers Compensation Act has its own set of procedures that are different than the procedures used in District Court. While the Judges are not bound by the Rules of Evidence, they are certainly guided by them. All of the usual objections to evidence are submitted to Louisiana Workers Compensation Judges and the Judges are called upon to decide whether to follow the usual rule or to deviate from it.  As in District Court, objections must be raised at trial for them to be preserved on appeal.

Next: Vocational Rehabilitation Services.


David Buie, Louisiana Workers Compensation Attorney and Social Security Disability Attorney, 650 Poydras Street, Suite 1400, New Orleans, LA 70131, (800) 851-9405 / Fax: (866) 702-5297 Representing claimants in:
Alexandria Baton Rouge Bossier City Covington Gretna
Hammond Harahan Harvey Houma Kenner Lafayette Lake Charles
Laplace Marrero Metairie Monroe New Iberia New Orleans
Opelousas Ruston Shreveport Slidell Terrytown

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