Reporting workers’ compensation claims as soon as possible following a workplace accident is important. At EMPLOYERS, we recommend that you report claims to your insurance carrier immediately after they happen, and no later than 24 hours after the incident. The sooner your carrier receives the claim, the better it is for everyone involved.
Here are four good reasons why you should report every claim promptly:
1. It sends the right message. How quickly you respond to a workplace accident sends a message about how much you value your employees. Dealing with a claim swiftly strengthens the trust employees have in their managers and senior leadership.
2. It can help expedite the investigation process. The earlier a claim is reported, the earlier your workers’ compensation insurance claims department can investigate it. The minutes and hours following a workplace accident are a critical time to gather information about the incident, including the name of the injured party, the nature of the injury, treatment provided and any eye-witness testimonies. The more time that goes by, the greater the potential for memories to fade and facts to get misconstrued. Without documenting early evidence, it can be difficult for your insurance carrier to determine what caused the injury.
3. It can potentially save you money. A recent study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. indicates that delayed reporting of workplace injuries can raise claims costs up to 51 percent. Early reporting is especially important in cases where an injury might initially seem minor. That is because minor injuries can potentially worsen over the ensuing weeks or months. This potentially can lead to costlier treatment, increased time away from work and higher claims costs.
4. It’s the law. Workers’ compensation claims reporting is regulated at the state level, so check with your local department of labor to make sure you are following state requirements. Additional reporting to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within 24 hours is required in cases of serious injuries, such as the loss of a limb or eye, or those that require hospitalization. Work-related fatalities must be reported to OSHA within eight hours.
Reporting a claim to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier is quick and easy, and may typically be done in a variety of ways, including online, by phone, and via email. For more information on claims reporting, contact your workers’ compensation insurance agent or carrier.