As an employer, carrying workers’ compensation coverage can help protect you from liability resulting from workplace injuries. Even with liability protection keeping your workers safe should be one of your most important priorities.
A safe environment ensures you are compliant with OSHA regulations, makes your employees feel you have their best interest at heart, and minimizes the occurrence of accidents which can result in costly insurance premiums.
How Workers’ Comp Insurance Works
Workers’ comp insurance takes a no-fault approach, meaning an employee can still file a claim even when they may be partially or fully responsible for an accident as long as it occurred while engaged in activity within their scope of work. It doesn’t have to happen at an office or specific premises.
There are situations where an accident that occurs outside an organization’s premises may be considered a workplace accident. For example, a delivery worker was injured while on the road making deliveries.
There are few exemptions for eligibility for workplace accidents, including if the accident occurred while the claimant was intoxicated, engaged in a fight with a co-worker, or engaged in an activity outside their scope of work. For example, a delivery worker gets injured when driving on a personal errand.
As an employer, you can do a few things to minimize the chances of an accident, which may vary based on the industry. However, some safety strategies are applicable irrespective of industry. One such strategy is keeping the work environment tidy and organized. Disorganization in the workplace can be a recipe for trips and falls, which constitute a significant percentage of all workplace accidents.
Other measures include ensuring that the work environment is well lit, employees wear proper protective clothing, conducting regular drills to ensure employees know what to do in an emergency, and providing employees with the right tools for their responsibilities.
An Injured Employee May Need a Lawyer
“Even with the best safety strategies, accidents are unavoidable,” says workers’ compensation lawyer Andrew Kryder of The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident & Injury Lawyers. While an employee may be eligible for compensation for injuries suffered in a workplace accident, it is not automatic. They have to file a claim with the employer’s insurer.
The workers’ compensation claims process is straightforward, but it is not always smooth sailing. It gets pretty complicated if the accident results in catastrophic injuries. If you have suffered more than scrapes and bruises, you may need to talk to an attorney to determine if your damages are worth involving an accident lawyer.
Employee Responsibility After an Accident
What you do after an accident makes a massive difference in the outcomes of your claim. First, you will need to prioritize your health, so ensure you call emergency services or seek medical attention. If your injuries occur on-premises, you can take advantage of the resident responders as you await emergency services. Taking photos and video evidence of the scene can help your lawyer reconstruct your accident and strengthen your case. Your lawyer can also help you get other pieces of evidence like the premise’s CCTV footage.
Employers that suffer injuries at the workplace are supposed to report their accident to their employer within a specified period that may vary based on state laws. A state’s statute of limitations may also come into play in determining when to file a claim. But if you have a lawyer in your case, they can take care of all compliance issues on your behalf as you focus on your recovery.