Why you need workers’ compensation
March 8th, 2012 by Mike Yoder
By Mike Yoder, CEO of Servant HR
Many employers may overlook the necessity of workers’ compensation believing it does not pertain to them or their company. But consider these two rather bizarre claims:
• An employee was proving that he could carry an air compressor and strained his back.
• An employee tripped over a dog and injured herself while meeting with a customer in the customer’s home.
Yes, you may have guessed it, these claims were found in court to be compensable. At Servant HR, we receive frequent questions regarding workers’ comp, such as:
• Why am I required to have coverage?
• Why do I have to pay when no one ever gets hurt on the job?
• Why do particular employees cost so much, despite having reasonably “safe” jobs?
• Shouldn’t health insurance cover any injuries?
• Does workers’ comp really have to pay if it is clearly the fault of a negligible employee?
By definition, workers’ compensation is an alternate way for employees to recover costs for work-related injuries, rather than suing their employers. Workers’ compensation includes an “exclusive remedy” component, meaning if an employee gets hurt at work, his bills and typically his lost wages, are paid. However, exclusive remedy also ensures that the employee can’t file a lawsuit against the employer, in most situations. It’s an exchange of rights and benefits for both the employee and employer. The workers’ comp system provides employees with the security of knowing they can recover for work-related injuries without the complexity and uncertainty of a lawsuit.
Workers’ comp can be thought of as an insurance policy for your company. Just like home owners and life insurance, you are required to regularly pay, even if you never have to use it. The rates are determined from the statistics and probability of an accident or hazardous situation for a particular occupation.
If a claim is made by an employee, a workers’ compensation insurer generally reviews the case and verifies any issues. As the exclusive remedy, any injury happening in the workplace is generally covered, even if an employee is negligent. However, an employer may choose to dispute a claim, for example, if he believes an injury is not related to work or is being put-on. Regardless, it is generally in the best interest of the employer to get the employee back to work even on limited duty, rather than being paid lost wages from the policy.
For answers to your workers’ compensation questions or to find out more about how Servant HR can help with all of your HR needs, please contact us today.
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