Accidents happen all the time… but should the accident involve an employee, is your company really prepared? As a business owner, there is no real way for you to prevent any accidents from ever occurring in your building, but what you can do is make sure you’re in compliance with workplace injury laws and that you provide your staff with the support they need to recover. Why prepare? Well, there is really no sense in waiting until your employee secures an attorney before you react…It’s always better to be proactive than reactive.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Of course no business owner wants to start thinking about additional expenses, but when it comes to safeguarding the integrity of your business, sometimes investing in various products is the only way to be prepared. In most states, employees are required to purchase insurance that will provide benefits to any employee who gets injured or falls ill on the job. By purchasing this insurance, your employees are provided with the financial assistance they need, and your business – dodges the bullet of lawsuits and penalties issued by the government.
What’s Covered Under Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Keep in mind that the injury does not have to happen on your premises. Workmen’s compensation claims can be relevant should an employee get injured or fall ill while doing work related things. So if you have an employee that often travels for business, if they are injured while traveling this would qualify as a claim. Also, should an employee develop an illness over time as a direct result of work such as being exposed to certain chemicals, this too qualifies as a claim. Insurance typically covers medical expenses as well as lost income for the injured employee. The level of coverage you will need to obtain will vary by state.
There are some things that are not covered:
· Injuries that resulted from an employee being drunk or under the influence of drugs
· Injuries that the employee caused themselves
· Injuries as a result of a fight with another employee
· Injuries that were a direct result of not following company safety policies
· Injuries that are claimed after the employee has been fired (for non-injury related reasons)
Your Responsibilities as an Employer
In order to avoid being fined by the government and sued by employees, employers have legal responsibilities under the workers’ compensation system. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can give you a better insight on what those responsibilities are, as well as the compensation injured employees stand to gain. NewlinLaw.com gives an eye-opening rundown of the millions of dollars won in court on behalf of clients injured or even killed in the workplace.
Some of the basics include:
· Securing workers’ compensation insurance that is in compliance with state laws
· Post notices in a central area advising employees of their rights under workers’ compensation laws
· Provide necessary claim forms for employees who are injured.
If you have not already done the above three things it is ideal that you handle this right away. Failure to comply could lead to significant issues for your business.
In closing, it is beneficial for employers to fully inform themselves of worker’s comp claims to ensure that their business if prepared in all areas. It also won’t hurt to review your employee’s rights under these laws. While you would hope that your employees would remain safe, accidents are unpredictable. Not to mention, giving your employees the assurance that their health and safety are a concern for you is a great way to show them that you care.