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What to Do When Employees Files Worker’s Comp Claims
Recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that three million workplace injuries take place in this country in a year. For every 100 full-time employees working in the US, about three of them are hurt on the job site every year.
If you’re an employer, you play a central role in securing your worksite. It’s your job to make sure that your injured employees are reimbursed for the medical costs they receive for a workplace injury.
You can find out more here on what you should know to execute the workers’ comp claims process.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a set of laws you’ll find in every US state. These laws guarantee that a worker hurt at a job site will receive reimbursement to help pay for their medical fees.
These laws are in place so that a worker won’t have to consider suing their employer for compensation. Workers’ compensation only applies to those injuries that occur on the company’s premises.
Under current workers’ compensation laws, most businesses must get workers’ compensation insurance coverage. They need this coverage before they open their doors and start their operations.
You’ll notice that these statutes are different from state to state. That’s because every state has its own version of workers’ compensation laws.
You’ll also find laws for special compensation for employees in a specific industry. These industries include the federal government and the railroad industry.
There are over 140 million US workers who are currently covered by a workers’ compensation insurance policy. Total costs for workers’ compensation insurance paid by US companies are more than $95 billion.
The first state-level workers’ compensation statutes have been around since 1902. By 1949, all US states passed their own workers’ compensation statutes to protect workers on the job.
Workers’ Comp Claim Process
US states all have an individual set of workers’ compensation laws. Yet most workers’ compensation procedures include the following steps:
The best way to safeguard your workers is to develop an emergency response plan. These plans will reduce worksite hazards and prevent injuries in the first place. Train your managers and employees on how to recognize risk and promote workplace safety.
Keep emergency contact names and phone numbers in your HR files for all of your employees. Be sure to provide first aid supplies that are easily accessible and regularly stocked.
You might also consider hiring a safety officer. These professionals are trained to manage operations for particularly dangerous jobs on site.
The best way for employers to manage potential injuries on the job is to be prepared for the worst.
Secure Your General Liability Insurance Coverage
A general liability insurance plan also protects your company against bodily injury claims. This includes claims from both customers and employees.
These claims result from your business’s operations, services, or products. If an employee comes to work and gets hurt on your worksite, your general liability insurance plan would pay for their medical fees.
Without this coverage, your company might wind up paying for someone’s damages out of your company’s income. In a worst-case scenario, your company may be forced to file for bankruptcy to pay for these unplanned expenses.
Act Right Away
Once you find out that an injury has occurred, move the injured employee to a safe location. Keep your other employees out of this accident site as well.
Once you’ve investigated what took place, apply any necessary first-aid steps to the injured employee. Use those first aid supplies you regularly have stocked and accessible.
If the injury needs treatment beyond your efforts, notify emergency medical professionals immediately. Direct them to come to your site right away.
Collect Evidence and Other Incident Facts
Evidence plays a vital role in your company’s workers’ compensation claim process. Record all the significant details about the accident that took place. Take pictures of the area where the accident took place, or the equipment involved.
Record in your notes the accident date, time, and location on your work premises. You should also include notes and testimony on how the accident transpired. Interview any fellow employees who saw the accident to collect their testimony.
Update your accident record notes on the injuries at the site of the accident and the status of the medical care received. This information will be helpful if the employee later complains of any delayed onset injuries.
Filing Workers’ Comp Claims
You should plan to collaborate with your injured worker when it comes time to file the paperwork with your company’s insurance provider. This is when your insurance company will request their workers’ compensation physician to examine the injured employee.
The next step includes transmitting a copy of the claim to your state workers’ compensation board. Most employers will file these workers’ compensation claims on behalf of the injured worker.
When the state’s workers’ compensation board and your insurance company are done reviewing your claim, they’ll notify the injured employee. A benefits specialist will let the employee know whether their claim was accepted. They’ll also let them know how much reimbursement they should expect.
Be Prepared for Any Possible Claim Outcome
If the injured worker decides to sue your company, be cooperative. Share whatever relevant information you may have with their lawyer and claims adjuster. An injured worker can also reopen their closed workers’ comp claim once it has been settled if they believe they have a good cause to demand more reimbursement.
What’s Your Next Step?
The best way to protect your company and your employees is to prepare a written document ahead of time that outlines your emergency response plan. This document should also include steps in the workers’ comp claims process.
This document can also include guidance on return-to-work policies as well. Make sure to hand out this information when you onboard a new employee.
Check our website to learn more about our solutions and how we can assist you with your workers’ compensation benefits. We’ll save you money no matter how big or small your company is. Reach out online or give us a call today.