Workers compensation is a “no fault” system. Every state has laws and regulations mandating the prompt reporting of all injuries and accidents. Most of these laws are in place to protect the rights and benefits of injured workers. What many employers do not realize is that immediate reporting of all injuries can actually be a magic bullet that helps reduce their workers’ compensation system.
- Barriers to reporting – The significant barrier to reporting of claims. Is the economics of workers’ compensation workers’ compensation claims are expensive. As a result, an unintended message can be sent to workers that they are discouraged from reporting accidents.
- Economics of delayed reporting – Employers can face additional fines and penalties for late reporting, but that is not the only economic impact of delays. The study also reported that the longer a claim goes unreported, the more likely it will be to involve litigation, also increasing overall claims costs.
- Safety – one of the most important benefits of immediate reporting is the ability to determine the failure of safety program or system that is in place at work.
- Compensability – Delays in claim reporting can make it more difficult for the claims administrator to determine the compensation value of the claim or legitimacy of the claims. As time goes by, potential witnesses may not be identified easily, or witnesses’ memories may become fuzzy.
- Improved medical control and better medical outcomes – Immediate reporting of claims improves the timeliness and quality of care provided to the injured workers. This helps to reduce the number of lost time, as well as reduce the risk of permanent disability.
- Subrogation – Early reporting allows the claims administrator to identify potential subrogation cases and preserve evidence involving a third party.
Here are things that employers could do to encourage prompt claim reporting:
- Establish a precedent – Upon hiring, educate every employee that they are required to report all injuries immediately.
- Message from the top – The management regularly reinforce the importance of prompt reporting.
- Analyze the gap – any delayed reporting should be analyzed to determine if there is a gap in the education process.