Employers know that they must purchase insurance that will provide benefits to anyone under their employment that suffers a work related injury. This law provides protection for both parties; employers don't have to worry about being sued by an employee, and employees get the benefits that they need no matter who was at fault. This is just the first step, however, in protecting yourself and your company from workplace injury and unwanted lawsuits.
The second step an employer should take is to inform their employees of their legal rights. Often, employers will post a notice describing workplace safety standards and worker's compensation benefits somewhere public and conspicuous. It is also prudent to inform all new hires verbally of their rights, to be sure all bases have been covered.
It is important to know what is covered by workers compensation and what is not. If you suspect any the situations listed below, take the action needed to determine if it is a fair claim or if the employee is truly at fault.
1) Injuries caused by intoxication or drugs
2) Self-inflicted injuries
3) Injuries from a fight started by the employee
4) Injuries resulting from horseplay or violation of company policy
5) Felony-related injuries
6) Injuries an employee suffers off the job
7) Injuries claimed after an employee is terminated or laid off, or
8) Injuries to an independent contractor.
Be sure to check with your state's specific laws to be sure that you are not in violation of any procedures. You can find information on the different state's workers' compensation laws at the U.S. Department of Labor's website, www.dol.gov.
If one of your employees does require workers' compensation, you must submit a claim form within 24 hours notice of the injury. As soon as the employee comes to them, the employer should provide written materials detailing the benefits available and how to file a claim.
If you have questions or need assistance with Workers' Compensation or other employment-related matters, please contact my firm at www.danzlaw.net."