Use Communication to lower your WC claim costs
There are many ways to control your Worker’s Comp claim costs. Depending on the size of your budget, some companies hire and train safety managers while others provide medical management for all their claims. Some employers have also purchased computer programs to monitor their claims. All these efforts are great but don’t forget to keep the lines of communication open with the injured employee. This simple solution can prevent many injured employees from hiring an attorney and prolonging the time to close the claim. Adding an attorney to the process will immediately add to the claim costs.
Many times when an employee hires on attorney, it is because they have not had any communication with their employer. They feel lost and may be worried how they are going to pay their bills and provide for their families. Employers must keep the lines of communication open so this does not happen.
When an accident occurs, the immediate focus should be on the injured employee and getting him the medical attention he needs. Depending of the severity of the injury, the worker’s comp coordinator or the supervisor should accompany the injured employee to the emergency clinic or the hospital. They should stay and speak with the doctor after treatment is provided.
Always make immediate contact with the employee after the first doctor’s visit. This will reassure the employee that you are concerned about them and their health. At this time you will also assure them that you are keeping their job open when they are able to come back to work.
Depending on the injury, the employee may not be able to return to work right after the accident. The employer must make an effort to stay in contact with the injured employee the entire time they are off work.
If you have a work comp coordinator, this person will be the main contact with the injured employee. They can instruct the injured employee to call them after each doctor’s visit and discuss the treatment plan. If the doctor suggested work restrictions, let the injured employee know that you have light duty available for them until they are released back to regular work.
Some employees see an injury as winning the lottery. This is a chance for them to get paid for staying home and hopefully get a nice settlement. There is not a lot you can do in this case but you can prevent many employees from hiring an attorney if you stay in contact with them throughout the recovery process.