Workers Comp Claim

Had our busiest weekend ever. In all the commotion one of my employees cut himself. This is the first time this has happened in the two years I have been open. What is everyone’s experience with this. He needed 5 stitches in his hand

Do you just pay the bill yourself out of pocket?
If you submit it to your insurance, what is a ballpark figure of how much it will go up?
The kid has his own insurance, and wanted to submit it under his, and have me pay the difference so it will go towards his deductible? Is this something I should consider?

Call your insurance and have them pay the claim. It will probably not raise your rates at all. If you go any other route you leave yourself open to future liabilities. What happens if his finger gets infected and future treatments are necessary? Too late to submit it as a workers comp claim at that point. What happens if you fire the kid and he finds one of the contingency attorneys who will take a case along with their “doctor” who claims there is permanent nerve damage? No insurance supplied attorney to fight the case, and no insurance $$$ to settle the case. Just submit the claim and forget about it.

Even though I’m in Australia Insurance companies are the same worldwide.
We had our manager take the top of her finger off. No hassle , just sent her to hospital and let them fix her up, do the relevant insurance paperwork etc. They sent the workers comp insurance form to us and we comleted our part and sent it to the insurance company. Easy as and no increased premiums.
I’m totally with Paul with his comments.
That is why we have workers comp insurance (compulsory in Australia).
Not worth the hassle to do it any other way.

Dave

Thanks for the advice. I will certainly go through my insurance.

100% call your insurance and let them handle it. It’s what you pay for. Something like this should not raise your rates and if a simple claim like this did I would start shopping around. Never let an employee put any work related injury on their own insurance. Many things can happen. The doctors make notes about what happened and list them in the claims. The employee’s insurer send out forms asking if it was work related…they want details…and if they find out they are paying for something they do not have too…well we all know how the insurance industry works. Also, if an injury that started small…say a cut or a few stitches turns into nerve damage after that employee leaves…or even worse…is terminated… just think about how that could play out. Insurance is a costly burden for all business owners and I like all of you hate throwing money out there that 99% of the time we just write the check and watch it go away…but I am also a firm believer that you should carry as much insurance as you can afford too. That little extra expense each month does add up but one employee that sues you…one customer that slips and falls… bites into that whatever that fell into the sauce…etc…etc…etc… the day the storm takes out the whole store and your are out of any cash flow for 3 or 6 or 12 months… Bottom line… get a really good agent don’t just shop around for yourselves. Yes you can save a few dollars going direct with an insurer but a good agent that comes out to your location…walks in your shoes for the day…and sees the risks and hazards that maybe are unique to your specific location is work the extra cost. If you do not have a relationship with an agent yet…call 3 or 4. Make them work for your business. Let them put an insurance plan on paper for you that covers the big picture not just a generic “pizza shop” plan that fits everyone. Then when you get them all together. Make them all apples to apples. Get some hard prices. See who is offering the best for what cost. Then negotiate a lower price from there. Sorry I am rambling on a bit…just my 2-cents. :smiley:

If our employee cuts himself we send him to urgicare. They can do stitches and such. They will just bill us. We still file with Work Comp but if the bill is under 500 we just pay it. If they are expected to miss more than 3 days of work insurance takes over. We have to file in case something happens down the road unexpected…infection etc.

We have had some extensive injuries over the years and those effect our experience rating which in turn effects our rates. The little ones won’t make much of a difference.

It is a good time to get a procedure down. Have a file in the store on what to do and where to send them. Also good to have the injury forms and all the phone numbers, account numbers etc. in order and ready just in case.

I need to keep talking for some reason… Kris makes some good points… You need good procedures in place for all types of situations. Your employees need to know what to do when you are not there. Is it a trip to the urgentcare or is it a 911 call? Again another thing a good agent will work with you on… make sure you know what to do. First report of injury forms for the insurance company… they all want that. Then the option of paying it out of pocket for a smaller claim but still letting them know about it is good. It is all about protecting you if it were to get ugly down the road. It’s not always just pissed off employees trying to get back at you for something not there…sometimes there are legitimate injuries and they will cost alot to treat over time. Cover yourself. Have a plan in place and talk to your employees and make sure the first aid kits are stocked…have eye wash kits and most of all…burn kits are a must because we all know they do happen. A little money spent up front here can save you in the long run. Also if you have good written procedures it can protect you if an employee causes a serious injury to themselves or to someone else. The key is they have to know the procedures and have acknowledged them. Time to update the old employee handbook!