Business owners won’t always get it right. They can make many mistakes with operations, employees, and even their own business practices. However, workers’ compensation claims are one of many things you’ll want to get right.
Mistakes in this area can be costly, not just for your business but also for your reputation and even your employees. By being aware of these common mistakes below, you might be better positioned to avoid making them.
Not Creating a Safe Working Environment
Ask any Nashville law firm legal professional, and they’ll tell you that many workplace compensation claims could have been avoided if a workplace was safer. You might be able to avoid navigating the complexities of a workers’ comp claim if you create a wholly safe working environment for your team.
This can involve putting specific safety measures in place, resolving known hazards, and prioritizing employee training. You may not be able to prevent all accidents and incidents in the workplace, but better safety measures might reduce the risk.
Not Completing Documentation Properly
When an accident or incident occurs in the workplace, resulting in an employee getting hurt, employees must report what happened and file a claim. If you fail to file the necessary paperwork, workers’ compensation benefits might be delayed or even denied. Not completing documentation correctly or on time is a mistake you’ll want to avoid for your employees’ sake. Make sure you:
- Instruct your employee to seek medical treatment
- Give them the appropriate paperwork to fill out with information like the date, time, place, and injury circumstances
- Interview witnesses where appropriate and add their statements as supporting documentation
- File the paperwork with your insurer
- Submit a report to the state’s workers’ compensation board if required
Taking Too Long to File
The average business owner is busy. That means you might not file your workers’ compensation claim for your employee right away. However, time is of the essence with such a time-sensitive task. You may risk increased claim costs, fines, and even legal penalties by not reporting injuries to the workers’ compensation board and your insurer quickly.
Discouraging Medical Treatment
As stressful as it can be to have a critical employee taking time off work for an injury, you can’t discourage them from seeking medical treatment. Alongside risking their condition worsening, you may be at risk of legal liabilities or even higher compensation costs. Instead, always encourage your employees to seek medical care and keep all related documentation. This information can be crucial for a smooth and stress-free claim-filing process.
Dealing with workers’ compensation claims as a business owner can be frustrating, expensive, and time-consuming. Employees take time off work to recover, and you sometimes have to implement back-to-work programs to support your injured workers’ recovery. While often frustrating, retaliation is not the answer. In fact, there can be legal repercussions if you’re found to be doing this. Employer retaliation can look like:
- An undeserving poor performance review
- Failure to promote
- Threats of action
- Refusal to rehire
- Workplace isolation or intimidation
- Unreasonable disciplinary action
Business owners are not above making mistakes. However, some mistakes can be costlier than others. You might enjoy a far less stressful workers’ compensation claim process by avoiding these expensive errors above.