Settlement Options in Louisiana Workers Compensation

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Settlements in Louisiana Workers Compensation

One of the most important aspects of settlements in Louisiana workers compensation that an injured employee needs to understand is that settlements are completely voluntary for both sides.

In other words, neither the employee can force the workers compensation insurance company to settle, nor can the workers compensation insurance company force the employee to settle.

Nonetheless, settlement do typically occur in most workers compensation claims, because it is generally in the best interest for both parties to settle  the claim, or at the very least to strongly consider settlements.

From the perspective of the the workers compensation insurance company, a closed file is generally a good file, because a closed file stops the continued drain on insurance reserves and the need for requiring additional reserving.

And even though the expenses and cost of administration of a workers compensation claim can be relatively low, from the point of view of the workers compensation insurance company, a settlement is within reasonable limits is generally seen as a win because the insurance know that it will nom longer need spend any additional funds on the claim.

From the perspective of an injured employee, it is important to understand that the value of a workers compensation claim continues to steadily decline, unless additional surgeries are required.

In fact, from the point of view of the employee, there is a real incentive to settle at the "optimum" value or rather as soon as the employee has sufficiently recovered from surgery but not yet returned back to work, in order to maximize the employee's recovery, due to the serious negative effect that vocational rehabilitation can have on the value of a claim.

Nonetheless, it is usually in the best interest of an injured employee to have any recommended surgeries before consideration of settlement, since: 

    1. It can be difficult to accurately estimate the potential cost of a surgery, due to ever-shifting costs of medical facilities, providers, and/or surgical supplies;
    2. It can be difficult to accurately estimate any pharmacy charges necessary for pre-surgery and post-surgery discharge needs; and
    3. It can be difficult to accurately estimate any unforeseen developments and consequences related to the surgery.

Of course, there do exist some claims where there is little to no possibility of settlement, but such claims typically involve unrealistic expectations on one or both sides.

But again, in general most claims will have a settlement value on which both sides might be able to agree on, depending upon a variety of issues and facts.

And, there are also claims which may be partially settled but, due to issues outside of the control of the parties, such as Medicare's interest in a extremely high value medical claim or non-approval of a settlement request subject to approval by the Board of the Second Injury Fund, where a full and final settlement may not be immediately possible.

Settlement Options in Louisiana Workers Compensation

Under Louisiana workers compensation law, there are two types of settlements of workers compensation claims: compromise settlements and lump sum settlements.

Compromise Settlements and Lump Sum Settlements

A lump sum settlement occurs when there is no real dispute that the claim is owed, and the parties simply agree to payment of the discounted value of future benefits in exchange for a full and final release of the employer from any further liability. 

A lump sum payment or compromise settlement in exchange for full and final discharge and release of the employer, his insurer, or both is allowed only:

    1. Upon agreement between the parties, including the insurer's duty to obtain the employer's consent;
    2. When it can be demonstrated that a lump sum payment is clearly in the best interests of the parties; and
    3. Upon the expiration of six months after termination of temporary total disability. However, such expiration may be waived by consent of the parties.

As used in this Part, “parties” means the employee or his dependent and the employer or his insurer. The office of risk management is not required to obtain approval of settlements from the employing state agency, department, council, board, or political subdivision.

A compromise settlement, unlike a lump sum settlement, resolves a dispute between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company as to how much, if anything, the employee is owed.

A compromise settlement is the most common type of settlement, due to the frequency in which workers compensation insurance companies dispute claims.

A compromise settlement differs from a lump sum settlements in that a compromise settlement relates to uncertain values, and therefore may be for any amount agreed on by the parties, such that the limitation to a discount rate of eight percent or less does not apply (unlike lump sum settlements). 

Structured, Contingent, Combination and Partial Settlements

In addition to lump sum settlements and compromise settlements, there do exist additional types of settlements.

A structured settlement is a settlement where the injured employee places all or some of the employee's compensation money into a structured settlement or annuity which is paid out over a set period of time in a series of periodic payments.

A structured settlement allows the employee to earn interest and guarantees that the employee will have money available in the future.

A contingent settlement is a settlement where the payout is dependent on uncertain events, such as the settlement of a death claim in which future payments can be periodic and contingent upon the beneficiary's living to a certain age.

Contingent settlements frequently occur in the context of an ongoing third party claim, wherein the settlement is incorporated into a “high-low” contingency, whereby the amount of the workers' compensation payment by the employer is contingent on the jury's award.

However, contingent settlements are not recommended, if avoidable, because contingent settlements can lead to unforeseen trouble after the agreement is finalized.

A combination settlement is a settlement where there is an agreement between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company that part of the claim is compensable, while the rest is disputed.

Thus, a combination settlement is a combination of a lump sum settlement and a compromise settlement.

An example of a combination settlement is a settlement that compromises claims for past and/or future indemnity while allowing full but discounted payment of the employee's undisputed future medical expenses.

Finally, a partial settlement is a settlement where some of the employee's claims are settled, but some are not.

An example of a partial settlement is where an employee's past and/or future lost wage (indemnity) claims are settled - either through a lump sum settlement or a compromise settlement - but this same employee's claims for medical expenses and treatments are left open and continue to be paid (or disputed) by the workers compensation insurance company.

The "Lump Sum" Settlement Option in Louisiana Workers Compensation

As noted above, a lump sum settlement occurs when there is no real dispute that the claim is owed, and the parties simply agree to payment of the discounted value of future benefits in exchange for a full and final release of the employer from any further liability. 

In other words, a lump sum settlement provides a method by which the employer and employee may agree that compensation which is admitted to be due shall be paid in a lump sum rather than distributed over a period of weeks.

In a lump sum settlement, the payments due the employee or his dependents shall not be discounted at a greater rate than 8% (eight percent) per year.

If the lump sum settlement is made without the approval of the workers compensation judge, or at a discount greater than 8% (eight percent) per year (even if approved by the workers compensation judge), the workers compensation insurance company shall be liable for compensation at one and one-half times the compensation rate.

At any time within two years after date of the payment of the lump sum settlement, the employee can demand and receive in a lump sum from the workers compensation insurance company any additional payment owed along with the amount already paid, equal to one and one-half times the compensation which would have been due but for such lump sum settlement.

Lump Sum Settlement or Lump Sum Payment?

Under Louisiana workers compensation law, a “lump sum settlement” is not a compromise of disputed issues between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company, but rather an agreement between them to pay sums admittedly due — and otherwise payable in weekly amounts — in a lump sum discounted to present value within the legal restrictions.

So, in this sense, a “lump sum settlement” is not really a “settlement” at all, but rather a “lump sum payment” which just pays the amount undisputedly owed up front with a small discount.

So again, a “lump sum settlement” is not really a “settlement” at all, but rather a “lump sum payment.”

And, a “compromise,” on the other hand, is an agreement between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company to resolve disputes between them by the payment of compensation, usually in a single amount.

So, in this sense, a “compromise settlement” is actually a “settlement” at all, unlike a “lump sum settlement” which is simply a “lump sum payment.” 

As if this is not confusing enough, workers compensation lawyers and Judges both regularly use the terms interchangeably.

And, even though settlements regularly occur in most workers compensation claims, Louisiana law states that it is the stated policy for the administration of the workers compensation system of this state that it is in the best interest of the injured worker to receive benefit payments on a periodic basis.

Lump Sum Settlement or Compromise Settlement?

Lump sum settlements are rare in Louisiana workers compensation.

One reason for this is because of the penalty for discounting a lump sum settlement by greater than 8%; another reason for this is because a compromise settlement can be disguised as a lump sum settlement, which can result in the penalty for discounting a lump sum settlement by greater than 8%, if so determined.

In other words, if a Louisiana workers compensation Judge found that a settlement labeled as a compromise settlement was, in fact, a lump sum settlement, and discount on that settlement was greater than 8%, then the workers compensation insurance company would need to pay the penalty of one and one-half times the compensation which would have been due but for such lump sum settlement.

So, most Louisiana workers compensation settlements are compromise settlements, not lump sum settlements, so that the workers compensation insurance companies can avoid any possible penalties.

And it is not difficult to find a basis on which to determine that a settlement is a compromise settlement, given that the very uncertainty of the extent of the injury or the duration of disability are subjects of dispute which readily lend themselves to valid compromise.

The Penalty for Discounting Payments by More Than 8%

A lump sum settlement is a settlement agreement by the employee and the workers compensation insurance company that the workers compensation benefits admittedly due to the employee will be paid in a single lump sum, rather than on a continuing periodic basis.

The penalty for discounting a lump sum settlement by more than 8% is one and one-half times the compensation which would have been due but for such lump sum settlement, less the amount already paid.

So, for example, if the full value of the employee's claim, after a discount of 8%, is $200,000.00, and the employee and the workers compensation insurance company enter into a lump sum settlement for $100,000.00, the employee would be entitled to a penalty of $200,000.00 in addition to the amount received in the settlement.  

The exact calculation for the penalty is: (Full value times 1.5) minus the settlement amount =  penalty. 

So, the exact calculation for the penalty in this example is: 

    • Full value of $200,000 times 1.5 = $300,000
    • $300,000 minus the settlement amount of $100,000 = $200,000 penalty

However, an injured employee must make a claim for this type of penalty within two years of the lump-sum payment.

The "Compromise" Settlement Option in Louisiana Workers Compensation

As noted above, under Louisiana workers compensation law, there are two types of settlements of workers compensation claims: compromise settlements and lump sum settlements.

A lump sum settlement is a settlement agreement by the employee and the workers compensation insurance company that the workers compensation benefits admittedly due to the employee will be paid in a single lump sum, rather than on a continuing periodic basis.

But a compromise settlement is a settlement that resolves an actual dispute between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company.

In other words, a compromise settlement agreement is settlement where the employee and the workers compensation insurance company reach a certain monetary amount in order to compromise and settle any and all claims that the employee has for workers compensation benefits of any kind. 

Typical disputes in Louisiana workers compensation involve whether an injured employee is entitled to workers compensation benefits, or the amount of workers compensation benefits that an employee is owed.

A compromise settlement may be for any amount agreed on by the employee and the workers compensation insurance company, in order to resolve a dispute through a payment by the workers compensation insurance company to the employee.

Compromise settlements occur very frequently in Louisiana workers compensation (most workers compensation claims end in a compromise settlement), and occur much more frequently than lump sum settlements.

Compromise Settlements Versus Lump Sum Settlements

Both compromise settlements and ump sum settlements require approval by the workers compensation Judge in Louisiana workers compensation.

Whenever there exists a bona fide dispute, the employee and the workers compensation insurance company can enter into a compromise agreement which, upon being approved by the workers compensation judge, is reduced to judgment.

When this has been done, the judgment cannot be set aside except for fraud or misrepresentation.

Again, a compromise settlement derives from the differences between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company, and its purpose is to offset the fear of loss by the chance of gain.

The lump sum settlement, on the other hand, is proper when there are no differences between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company; and the sole purpose of the lump sum settlement is to avoid continuous weekly payments.

Requirements for Compromise Settlements

Louisiana law states that it is “in the best interest of the injured worker to receive payments on a periodic basis” in the same way as the employee had received his wages.

Nonetheless, compromise settlements occur very frequently in Louisiana workers compensation, as most workers compensation claims end in a compromise settlement.

But, in light of that policy, a compromise settlement is permitted only when three requisites are met:

    1. The parties must agree, including specifically a duty upon the insurer to obtain the employer's consent;
    2. It must be demonstrated that the lump sum payment is clearly in the best interests “of the parties”; and
    3. Six months must have elapsed after termination of temporary total disability, although this requirement may be waived by consent of the parties.

If these requisites are met, the parties may petition the workers compensation Judge for approval of the compromise settlement.

Upon submission of the compromise settlement to the workers compensation Judge for approval, the following requirements must be met:

    1. All parties must sign a joint verified petition to the workers compensation judge for approval or must recite the terms of the agreement and acknowledgment by the parties in open court in a manner capable of being transcribed from the record of the proceeding.
    2. If the worker is represented by counsel, and if there are affidavits of the employee or his dependent attached certifying that counsel has explained the rights of the employee or dependent and the consequences of the settlement to him and that the employee or dependent understands those rights and consequences, then the workers compensation judge shall approve the settlement by order.
    3. If the worker is not represented by counsel, then the workers compensation Judge is required to “determine” whether the employee understands the compromise.
    4. If the workers compensation Judge finds that the worker does understand the compromise, then the workers compensation Judge shall “approve it by order, unless he finds that it does not provide substantial justice to all parties.”

Lastly - but very importantly - all compensable medical expenses incurred prior to settlement must be paid unless the settlement provides otherwise.

Grounds for Annulling or Overturning Compromise Settlements

Louisiana workers compensation law provides that when a compromise settlement agreement based upon a dispute has been approved by the workers compensation Judge and translated into a written order, it cannot thereafter be set aside - or overturned, or annulled - except for fraud or misrepresentation made or induced by any party.

If fraud is alleged in a suit for additional compensation, the workers compensation Judge will hold a trial of the fraud issue on the merits.

But attempts to prove fraud are difficult and not generally successful.

Specifically, ignorance of the employee or the workers compensation insurance company, or both, concerning the worker's true condition is not sufficient to overturn a compromise settlement agreement, since the employee's true condition is typically a main part of the dispute and the agreement can be delayed until the employee's true condition is well understood.

Also, the fact that the amount paid in the compromise settlement is very minor or trivial in light of the worker's ultimate condition also will not invalidate the compromise settlement agreement, since the workers compensation Judge approval and advice by counsel serves as protection of the worker's interest.

But, the always remains the risk that a compromise settlement agreement might be regarded as a lump sum settlement discounted at a greater rate than 8%, which would invalidate and penalize that compromise settlement agreement.

And, since a compromise agreement which has not been approved by the court is regarded as an unauthorized lump sum settlement discounted at an excessive rate, a suit to recover such additional compensation must be brought within two years after payment.

But if the execution of the compromise was induced by fraud and suit is thereafter brought to set the agreement aside, this two year limitation does not apply and the prescriptive period is that provided for setting aside fraudulently induced agreements generally.

"Partial" Versus "Full" Settlements in Louisiana Workers Compensation

Generally, compromise settlement agreement in Louisiana workers compensation fall into three categories:

    1. Full and final settlement agreements;
    2. Partial full and final settlement agreements; and
    3. Settlement of only the specific disputes identified in the Form 1008 Dispute Claim for Compensation.

All three of these compromise settlement agreement are regularly used.

Full and Final Settlement Agreements

In Louisiana workers compensation, a full and final settlement ends and settles the entire workers compensation claim, including all benefits and all disputes between the employee and the workers compensation insurance company.

In short, a full and final settlement lays the entire claim to rest.

A a full and final settlement allows the employee to move on with his or her life, without ever having to deal with the workers compensation insurance company ever again.

Also, the workers compensation insurance company is able to close its file and take down reserves.

And, a full and final settlement allows the complete termination of all litigation.

For these reasons, a full and final settlement should be the goal in all but a few select cases.

In fact, many cases can be settled full and final even where the employee and the workers compensation insurance company cannot settle the 1008 or agree on smaller issues.

In other words, if the employee and the workers compensation insurance company can agree on a full and final settlement amount, then it make no difference that they cannot settle the 1008 or agree on smaller issues.  The claim will be over.

And usually, in most cases, the employee and the workers compensation insurance company can find a common ground on the long term value of the case or at least finally agree on an amount that both sides agree is a reasonable compromise.

Partial Full and Final Settlement Agreements

In Louisiana workers compensation, a partial full and final settlement occurs where either the medical benefits portion of the claim or the lost wage (indemnity) portion of the claim is settled but not both.

Thus, a partial full and final settlement allows the termination of one side of a workers compensation claim and normally occurs where very few disputes exist on the other side of the workers compensation claim.

A partial full and final settlement does not require approval by the workers compensation Judge.

Partial full and final settlements frequently occur when the lost wage (indemnity) portion of the claim is settled but not the medical benefits portion of the claim, due to the fact that the value CMS places on a Medicare Set-Aside makes settlement of the medical side of the claim impractical. 

For example, the employee and the workers compensation insurance company may agree on the value of the lost wage claim, but if the employee received a large amount of prescriptions in the 2 years prior to the settlement, the prescription side of the MSA might make settlement of the medical claim improper.

In such an example scenario, the employee and the workers compensation insurance company may agree to settle the lost wage claim while they either attempt to have a doctor state that the medications are no longer reasonable and necessary or wait until most of the prescriptions have fallen off of the past 2 years payment history.

At any rate, the real benefit of a partial full and final settlement is that it relieves the exposure on one part of the claim while allowing the other side (which is usually dispute free) to continue.

If the side of the claim that is not settling is subject to several disputes, then a partial full and final settlement is probably not appropriate in that situation.

Settlement of the Form 1008 Dispute Only

In Louisiana workers compensation, the employee and the workers compensation insurance company may agree to settle only the specific disputes identified in the Form 1008 Dispute Claim for Compensation.

The advantage of this type of settlement is that it allows the employee and the workers compensation insurance company to terminate the litigation (and its costs) while narrowing the scope of the issues remaining in the claim.

The disadvantage of this type of settlement is that the remainder of the claim (outside of the specific disputes identified in the Form 1008 Dispute Claim for Compensation) still needs to be handled and resolved.

This type of settlement can address a plethora of issues, but most often the battle is over a small number of issues (such as wage rate, back compensation or penalties and fees), but the settlement should end any issues that have been the subject of litigation.

Even though a full and final settlement is not being reached in this type of settlement, the employee and the workers compensation insurance company can:

    1. Develop a clear understanding of the path forward for the remainder of the claim;
    2. Agree upon and reduce to writing any upcoming issues remaining in the claim;
    3. Act to avoid a new Form 1008 Dispute being filed soon after the prior resolved Form 1008 Dispute is dismissed; and
    4. Move the claim efficiently to a point where a full and final settlement can be discussed.

Settlement of only the specific disputes identified in the Form 1008 Dispute Claim for Compensation the 1008 does not require approval by the workers compensation Judge.

Which Settlement Option is Best in Louisiana Workers Compensation?

In Louisiana workers compensation, injured employees frequently ask: which type of settlement is best?

The short answer is: the best type of settlement is whatever type of settlement benefits each injured employee the most.

But to knowing what type of settlement benefits each specific injured employee the most requires understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each type of settlement, whether that be a partial settlement of currently disputed issues, or an indemnity only settlement, or a full and final settlement.

Typically, a good settlement will include:

    1. Any and all past-due workers compensation lost wage (indemnity) benefits, including late penalties if applicable;
    2. Any and all past medical expenses accounted for, including late penalties if applicable;
    3. A realistic estimate of future lost wage (indemnity) benefits; and
    4. A realistic estimate of future expenses accounted for.

Nonetheless, generally speaking, the type of settlement that seems to most often benefit the injured employee the most is a full and final settlement that resolves all the issues in the workers compensation claim.

Again, a full and final settlement lays the entire claim to rest, allows the employee to move on with his or her life, without ever having to deal with the workers compensation insurance company ever again, and typically awards a large monetary sum to the employee immediately.

So a full and final lump sum settlement can certainly make sense for an injured employee with immediate financial needs.

Or, an injured employee could prefer full and final structured settlement or annuity, to be paid out over a set period of time in a series of periodic payments, because that employee may prefer to earn interest of the settlement money while having a guarantee that the employee will have the money available in the future.

But if such a full and final settlement cannot or should not be entered into, a settlement which resolves all outstanding issues, or some of the issues in a claim, or the specific disputes identified in the Form 1008 Dispute Claim for Compensation the 1008, may be appropriate or even best.

But each workers compensation claim is unique, and should be handled by an experienced workers compensation attorney, with individualized considerations to issues such as:

    1. The potential for future lost wage (indemnity) payments;
    2. The potential future medical expenses;
    3. Possible third party recoveries;
    4. The need for possible Second Injury Board funding of a settlement;
    5. The need for possible Medicare Set-Aside and/or CMS approval;
    6. The need for a structured settlement; and
    7. The need to determine what may be the best settlement for any particular claim.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of settlements in Louisiana workers compensation that an injured employee needs to understand is that settlements are completely voluntary for both sides.

In other words, neither the employee can force the workers compensation insurance company to settle, nor can the workers compensation insurance company force the employee to settle.

If the employee does not want to settle, the employee can continue receiving the weekly lost wage (indemnity) benefits or medical benefits if the workers compensation insurance company is continuing to pay them, and/or proceed to a trial with the workers compensation insurance company to have the workers compensation Judge resolve any outstanding disputes.

And the injured employee should also understand and remember that if the employee does agree to a full and final settlement, then the employee is agreeing to let the workers compensation insurance company stop paying the weekly lost wage (indemnity) benefits or medical benefits in exchange for a tax-free lump sum payment.

The Louisiana Statutes for Settlement Options in Louisiana Workers Compensation

The primary Louisiana statutes regarding settlement options are La. R.S. 23:1271, La. R.S. 23:1272, and La. R.S. 23:1274, which read as follows:

§1271.  Right of parties to settle or compromise

A.  It is stated policy for the administration of the workers' compensation system of this state that it is in the best interest of the injured worker to receive benefit payments on a periodic basis.  A lump sum payment or compromise settlement in exchange for full and final discharge and release of the employer, his insurer, or both from liability under this Chapter shall be allowed only:

(1)  Upon agreement between the parties, including the insurer's duty to obtain the employer's consent;

(2)  When it can be demonstrated that a lump sum payment is clearly in the best interests of the parties; and

(3)  Upon the expiration of six months after termination of temporary total disability.  However, such expiration may be waived by consent of the parties.

B.  As used in this Part, "parties" means the employee or his dependent and the employer or his insurer.  Nothing in this Section shall require the office of risk management to obtain approval of settlements from the employing state agency, department, council, board, or political subdivision.

Amended by Acts 1954, No. 724, §1; Acts 1966, No. 181, §1.  Acts 1983, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 1, §1, eff. July 1, 1983; Acts 1991, No. 892, §1; Acts 1997, No. 60, §1, eff. June 11, 1997.

§1272.  Approval of lump sum or compromise settlements by the workers' compensation judge

A.  A lump sum or compromise settlement entered into by the parties under R.S. 23:1271 shall be presented to the workers' compensation judge for approval through a petition signed by all parties and verified by the employee or his dependent, or by recitation of the terms of the settlement and acknowledgment by the parties in open court which is capable of being transcribed from the record of the proceeding.

B.  When the employee or his dependent is represented by counsel, and if attached to the petition presented to the workers' compensation judge are affidavits of the employee or his dependent and of his counsel certifying each one of the following items: (1)  the attorney has explained the rights of the employee or dependent and the consequences of the settlement to him; and (2)  that such employee or dependent understands his rights and the consequences of entering into the settlement, then the workers' compensation judge shall approve the settlement by order, and the order shall not thereafter be set aside or modified except for fraud or misrepresentation made by any party.

C.  When the employee or his dependent is not represented by counsel, the workers' compensation judge shall determine whether the employee or his dependent understands the terms and conditions of the proposed settlement, and shall approve it by order, unless he finds that it does not provide substantial justice to all parties, and the order shall not thereafter be set aside or modified except for fraud or misrepresentation made by any party.

D.  If a suit has been filed against a third party pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 23:1101, the district court hearing the third-party suit shall, in addition to a workers' compensation judge, have the authority to approve a lump sum or compromise settlement of the workers' compensation claim under the same conditions and terms set forth in this Section for approval of such settlements by a workers' compensation judge, and such authority shall include approval and establishment of the credit due the employer.  The fees of the attorney representing the employee in the workers' compensation matter shall be approved by the district court judge.

E.  All compensable medical expenses incurred prior to the date of the settlement shall be paid by the payor unless the terms of the settlement specifically provide otherwise.

Acts 1992, No. 769, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1137, §1, eff. June 29, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 776, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1014, §1, eff. June 27, 2001; Acts 2005, No. 257, §1.

§1274. Lump sum settlements; necessity for approval

A. The amounts payable as compensation may be commuted to a lump sum settlement by agreement if approved by the workers' compensation judge as provided in this Part. In a lump sum settlement, the payments due the employee or his dependents shall not be discounted at a greater rate than eight percent per annum.

B. If the lump sum settlement is made without the approval of the workers' compensation judge, or at a discount greater than eight percent per annum, even if approved by the assistant secretary or the workers' compensation judge, the employer shall be liable for compensation at one and one-half times the rate fixed by this Chapter. At any time within two years after date of the payment of the lump sum settlement and notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, the claimant shall be entitled to demand and receive in a lump sum from the employer such additional payment as together with the amount already paid, will aggregate one and one-half times the compensation which would have been due but for such lump sum settlement.

C. Upon payment of a lump sum settlement commuted on a term agreed upon by the parties, approved by the workers' compensation judge, and discounted at not more than eight percent per annum, the liability of the employer or his insurer making the payment shall be fully satisfied.

D. For the settlement of compensation claims as provided in R.S. 23:1231 through 1236 the following procedure shall be followed. The claimant must present to the employer an affidavit of death of the employee, proper proof of the claimant's relationship to the deceased and his legal right to the compensation benefits. Such documentation shall be affixed to the joint petition and submitted to the workers' compensation judge for approval as hereinabove provided.

Acts 1977, No. 40, §1; Acts 1982, No. 611, §1; Acts 1983, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 1, §1, eff. July 1, 1983; Acts 1988, No. 938, §1, eff. July 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 23, §1, eff. June 15, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997.

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