Workers compensation benefits both the business owner and the injured employee. Not only does it offer coverage for lost time from the workplace and the injured employee’s medical costs, but it also helps to protect employers from costly lawsuits filed by the employee, as the employee in question receives the benefits no matter who caused the accident.
When an employee is involved in an accident at work, certain procedures need to be followed in order to ensure a smooth process for both parties. Unfortunately, many business owners make mistakes when filing workers compensation. If you are a business owner, then here are some of the most common mistakes you need to avoid when dealing with workers compensation:
1.Delaying the Processing of a Claim
One of the costliest mistakes employers make when dealing with workers compensation claims is to delay processing the claim. Employers cannot refuse to process a workers compensation claim, and they must not delay in sending the required forms to their employee, or the state. And if they do refuse, the employer can get more as they can sue for emotional distress.
2.Delaying the Investigation of the Claim
Most states in the U.S. require the claims office to deny or accept a claim within a certain period of time. Not only that but if employers do not investigate the claim within a set period of time, the employee’s version of events is taken without any refutation by the employer.
3.Withholding Payment of Benefits
Lots of business owners who have received an adverse ruling on a claim or have chosen to accept a claim for workers compensation put off paying the benefits to their employees. Although this can lead to a quicker settlement with the employee, it can also lead to a costly lawsuit too.
4.Withholding the Settlement
If a regulatory authority has decided that a business needs to provide its employee with workers compensation, the employer cannot refuse to settle the claim, even if the employer believes the claim is not valid.
5.Offering an Unreasonable Settlement Amount
Often, we hear of employers who try to settle a workers compensation claim for less than the requirement of the state statutes. This is illegal and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, employers must ensure that their settlement offer is based on the requirements of the law.
6.Bombarding the Employee with Needless Forms
Another mistake businesses make when dealing with workers compensation claims is they bombard the employee with needless or duplicate claims forms, or they make the employee complete extra medical examinations even though the initial examinations were completed correctly, and thoroughly.
Workers compensation can be a complicated process for employers to navigate, filled with lots of possible pitfalls and possibilities for expensive mistakes. The fact that all states have different rules and regulations on workers compensation claims further complicates the process. Thanks to this, many business owners make mistakes when dealing with claims. If you are an employer dealing with a workers compensation claim, then make sure you understand the common workers compensation mistakes we have listed above. This will help you to avoid costly lawsuits in the future.