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Establishing ongoing employer defense may be beneficial

Regardless of how well California employers manage their workers' compensation programs, sooner or later they will likely become involved in litigation over workers' injuries. Unanticipated claims from former employees or being named as one of many defendants in occupational injury exposure claims may require the employer to hire a professional to handle employer defense. The demands of running a profitable company can be taxing on a business owner, and having to deal with complicated workers' compensation claims may be better left to experienced professionals.

An experienced attorney can take a comprehensive look at the claims rather than denying the presence of safety hazards. Regardless of the allegations, it is not uncommon for some sort of exposure to be found in any workplace activity, and the worker's point of view must also be considered. When claims are initially filed, a lawyer can ensure that it is properly assessed to avoid instances in which seemingly nominal claims develop into much more. If the big picture of the claim is not considered from the outset, an insignificant injury claim can end up as a post-surgery or disability claim.

A well-versed lawyer will know how important the language of a petition can be. He or she can word a petition in a manner that will expand the scope of the injury. For instance, an injury to the elbow can be worded as an injury to the upper extremity of the arm. Proper assessment of the initial injury could also avoid it being classified as a permanent or partial disability claim. Such claims can have additional financial consequences that may include benefits to be paid in the future regardless of the worker's continued employ at the company.

Company owners in California may benefit from building a relationship with an experienced employer defense attorney. A lawyer's knowledge of the client's business, the type of work activities and the potential hazards may enable him or her to better protect the client's interests. Utilizing the services of such a professional may ensure that litigation is resolved in a quick, efficient and cost effective manner.

Source: blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com, "Look At The Big Picture In Litigated Work Comp Files", Michael B. Stack, Nov. 11, 2015

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