When you start your own company and begin bringing on employees, you do so with great intentions and high hopes. Every employee is screened to make sure they are the best fit for your company's mission. The workplace is scrutinized and every decision is made with deep thought and contemplation for all involved.
Operating a business can be difficult on its own without the inclusion of anything extra, like workers' compensation or other forms of liability insurance. Workers' compensation has been known to confuse and cause problems for employers, especially when they are unsure of what is applicable under law. While many employers are aware that they are legally required to purchase workers' compensation insurance, regardless of how many employees they have or what industry they are in, they don't necessarily know the circumstances when it is or isn't applicable.
Running your own small business comes with its own obstacles and hassles, but dealing with workplace injuries is not the most obvious of those obstacles. Accidents do happen, and if you have employees, you've probably had the conversation about worker's compensation insurance. If one of your employees experiences injuries on the job and chooses to file a claim, you might be panicking and unsure of what your next move should be. If you're currently in one of these three situations, you want to consider hiring a worker's compensation lawyer to represent your small business.
Fraudulent workers' compensation claims cost businesses a lot of money, and for those who insure themselves or for small businesses facing claims, these costs may put them out of business. Businesses must do everything they can to combat fraudulent behavior, which can range from claiming an injury that never happened to claiming an existing injury happened at work. One of the ways to combat this type of false claim is to install surveillance cameras in the workplace, and to notify workers that they are under surveillance. This can not only help you fight false claims, it can deter people from filing claims in the first place to avoid their own legal repercussions.
When an employee reports an on-the-job injury in California, you may assume that your workers’ compensation insurance will cover the costs of the medical bills and a portion of the lost wages. However, according to Property Casualty 360, false claims raise the cost of policies, so any red flags may warrant an investigation.
In Los Angeles, employers must make sure that their workplaces diligently adhere to all applicable safety standards. Failure to do so can not only result in lost revenue thanks to injured employees, but it can also bring about serious legal reprisal. Here at Sacks & Zolonz, LLP , we’ve seen the harm that can befall an employer who forgoes proper safety measures. That’s why we counsel our clients on how they can prevent violations and ensure proper safety measures are upheld at all times.
As an employer in Los Angeles, you likely view the safety and well-being of your employees as one of your top priorities. Like many of those that we here at Sacks and Zolonz LLP have worked with in the past, that is why you work to ensure that your staff is covered by workers’ compensation insurance in the event of a workplace accident. Yet should such a benefit need to be used, the cost could be reflected in you having to pay more for your coverage. You may be fine with that provided that an employee’s claim is completely valid. Do you have any recourse, however, if you believe one is not?
Most employers in California know that carrying workers' compensation insurance is something they have to do, with a few exceptions based upon the nature of the company. For those companies who are required to carry this insurance, one thing they should be able to count on is that the system will be responsibly used by people who are legitimately injured or ill. Similarly, it would be wonderful if employers could trust that all other entities involved in the workers' compensation system operated honorably.
For California workers, being hurt on the job can be a devastating experience. Loss of income can quickly lead to financial instability, which is why most employers are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of a workplace injury. Knowing the ins and outs of workers’ compensation law is crucial to this end, so that you can be sure that your employer is abiding by all pertinent rules and regulations.
In our last post, we highlighted new potential legislation that would give the Division of Workers’ Compensation more resources to detect and prevent fraudulent claims. Yes, false claims do not outnumber legitimate claims, but fraud still causes problems for employers and insurers alike.