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What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation Settlements 

Accidents and personal injury at work are an unavoidable part of doing business. And a pricey one at that.

Nearly every state mandates businesses with employees to obtain workers’ compensation insurance to protect employers and employees from the financial hazards of workplace injuries. This no-fault insurance protects you from employee injury lawsuits. It also protects wounded workers by paying for things like:

  • Medical bills resulting from an injury
  • A percentage of the wages lost
  • Benefits for people with disabilities

A workers’ compensation claim can be straightforward to file. It’s generally a different story when it comes to settling one.

The procedure will go more smoothly for everyone if you and your injured worker both understand workers’ compensation agreements. Take a peek at these resources to learn more:

  • The fundamentals of the claims procedure
  • What does the settlement process entail?
  • How are settlements determined?
  • Why do some cases wind up in court, and what can you expect if you do?

What is the procedure for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

St Petersburg personal injury attorney says that in the workers’ compensation claim procedure, both employers and employees play a crucial role.

If a worker sustains a work-related injury, they must notify their employer immediately or risk losing benefits. The time limit for reporting a workers’ compensation injury varies by state, ranging from 72 hours to two years. To begin the workers’ compensation claims procedure, most need a report within 30 days.

Once you’ve been informed that an employee has been injured, you should take the following procedures as an employer:

  • Obtain medical attention for the employee. If you become aware of an injury right away, assist the employee is receiving the care he or she requires.
  • Look into the incident. You have a responsibility to capture what happened and to look for any potential safety hazards. This could entail collecting notes and photographing witnesses.
  • Submit a claim. It’s normally your responsibility to file a workers’ compensation claim with your insurance company.

What happens if a claim is turned down?

In most cases, insurers will deny claims for injuries that:

  • Are you suffering from a self-inflicted illness?
  • Are brought about by fighting or horseplay.
  • It happened on an employee’s commute to work.
  • When you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you’re breaking corporate regulations, or you’re committing a crime.

The wounded worker may file an appeal and possibly retain the services of an attorney. An administrative hearing is usually part of the appeals procedure. In the function of workers’ compensation hearings, you may learn more about the hearing procedure.

When a claim is authorized, what occurs next?

The insurance company will cover any medical expenditures related to the injury if the workers’ compensation claim is granted.

While an employee is unable to work, they will get a weekly benefit equal to a percentage of their income. 

Even if an employee’s claim is still active, temporary complete disability payments stop once they return to work. Let’s say a worker stumbles and strains their ankle while walking to the office break area to buy coffee. They are able to return to work, but they are still undergoing physical rehabilitation.

Any medical expenditures incurred as a result of the claim would be paid by the insurance company. The employee’s temporary disability payments would cease once he or she returned to work.

Some firms create return-to-work programs to assist wounded employees in returning to work. These programs provide a lot of advantages.

If an employee refuses an employer’s offer of light or modified duty labor, they may lose further benefits in several states.

What is the definition of a return-to-work program?

Your primary goal should be to get your injured employee healthy and back to work as soon as feasible. A return-to-work program may be beneficial.

This option usually allows employees to do light or modified work that is less taxing than their regular duties. Make careful to write down your strategy in a proper manner.

Employees may be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Improved morale: Getting back into the saddle and reconnecting with others might aid rehabilitation.
  • Maintaining skills: When a worker is absent from work for an extended period of time, his or her abilities can deteriorate.
  • Financial stability: Workers who return to work typically earn more than the part-time pay they received while on leave.

The following are some of the benefits that may be available to you:

  • Employee retention: The longer an employee is out of work, the less likely they are to come back. Employees who have been out of work for six months or longer have a less than 50% probability of ever returning, according to studies. An RTW program might assist you in retaining valuable employees.
  • Reduced labor costs: Returning an employee to work saves money on hiring and training temporary substitutes.
  • Lower workers’ compensation costs: The faster people return to work, the less money you’ll spend on claims. This helps to keep premium rates low in the future.
  • Reduced litigation: Return-to-work programs encourage open communication and demonstrate that you care about your employees, lowering litigation expenses.

Make certain that your program encourages wounded workers to return to work when they’re ready, rather than pressuring them to do so before they’re ready.

If an employee refuses an employer’s offer of light or modified duty labor, they may lose further benefits in several states. That is why it is vital for workers and companies to understand their state’s employee rights.

When done correctly, a return-to-work program can aid in the smooth resolution of a claim.

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