Injured Employees: what are your duties under workers compensation?

An employee is injured on the job while carelessly texting their buddy. What are your duties under the workers’ compensation law?

First, you must provide for immediate medical care, including first aid, and/or emergency services. Stop the bleeding, get them breathing. If necessary, call 911 or transport the employee to your pre-arranged medical facility, or directly to the hospital emergency room, whichever is appropriate.

Second, begin an initial investigation by gathering the injured party contact information along with witness contact information, and a brief description of the accident. Forward this information to your insurance carrier.

Upon any receipt of legal papers, lawsuits, or information regarding the loss, forward originals immediately to the insurance company. Keep copies for your records.

Cooperate with your insurance company investigation, settlement, court proceedings, or payments. This coverage is no-fault, don’t create procedural issues which can remove that status.

Do not interfere with the insurance company right to recover from third parties. The insurance company will seek subrogation from at-fault drivers, products manufacturers, or others. Allow them to do their jobs. They deal with these situations everyday.

Do not make payments or assume liability unless doing so at your own cost. Remember: this coverage is no fault. Demonstrating obligation creates confusion over statutory benefits.

Okay, so essentially your obligation is:

  1. Get medical help quickly and to triage the level of medical services needed for the injury.
  2. Report to the company information necessary to initiate a claim and forward legal correspondence.
  3. Get out of the way.

Getting back to the texting issue. Not relevant to the claims procedure for this injury, but think about your rules involving employee cell phone use and texting. Employees need to focus on their tasks to stay safe.

 

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