Laura Hensley is an experienced litigator in a variety of practice industries, including workers’ compensation, insurance defense, and employment law matters. She represents employers and insurers in all stages of workers’ compensation and employment matters, and regularly counsels clients prior to litigation in an effort to obtain a positive outcome for her clients.
Laura also has experience in managing and defending bad faith claims and enjoys using that knowledge to assist and benefit her clients. In her litigation practice, Laura believes in a focused and strategic approach, and uses that approach to benefit her clients through all phases of a contested matter, including settlement and trial.
Laura has had the pleasure of representing innumerable insurance companies in all levels of workers’ compensation disputes, including before the Administrative Law Judge, Circuit Court, and Supreme Court. She regularly represents insurance companies in disputes regarding negligence issues and enjoys counseling clients on compliance with workers’ compensation laws and employee documentation. Laura enjoys litigating matters on behalf of her clients but understands the need for settlement in the right situations and works with clients to prepare and negotiate settlement agreements to obtain finality and reach a resolution. Laura enjoys the relationships she develops with her clients and operates her practice in a collaborative way, regularly conducting trainings for adjusters, employers, management and employees during client visits. In addition to her busy workers’ compensation practice, Laura practices employment law and works with employers to prevent and manage workplace issues including ADA, FMLA, OSHA, and more.
Laura is a Sioux Falls native and graduated on the Dean’s List from Augustana College in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government & International Affairs. Laura then attended Creighton University School of Law where she graduated cum laude in 2009. She lives in Sioux Falls with her husband and is a mother to four busy boys.
Professional and Community
South Dakota Bar Association, Member
2nd Circuit Bar Association, Member
Women in Law, Member
SDDLA Young Lawyers, Committee Member
National Worker’s Compensation Defense Network, Planning Committee Member
Carroll Institute, Board Member
Publications and Presentations
9.22.2016: Medical Panel Discussion for the State of South Dakota. National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
8.31.2016: “Workers’ Compensation Law and Practice” Sterling Education Services 1st Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
6.23.2016: “Absence Management: Handling the Sick, Injured, or Disabled Employee.” Presented at the South Dakota Workers’ Compensation Summit, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
6.24.2015: “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Workers’ Compensation.” Presented at the South Dakota Workers’ Compensation Summit, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
2.19.2015: “Employment Practices and South Dakota Workers’ Compensation Laws.” Presented for the South Dakota Society for Human Resource Management, Brookings, South Dakota.