Small business owners are the backbone of the American economy. Over half a million new businesses are started every month, and there are almost 28 million small businesses in the United States. Small business owners all take great pride in building their venture and growing their business. Any business owner, regardless of the size of the company, wants to protect the business from threats and risks. Business owners need to be especially aware of how to protect their business during a workers’ compensation case.
One important way to protect your business is to properly investigate every claim. Business owners should take immediate steps to gather evidence about how the injury happened. Clearly you will want to make sure to interview witnesses and collect written statements. However, you should also consult another, neutral employee about the facts surrounding how the injury happened. Another employee may be able to provide insight that will show how to keep employees safe in the future or even can show that the injury could not have happened in the way the injured employee reported.
Another essential step to protect your business is to make sure that the managers of each department are trained in the proper and immediate steps to take in the event of a work place accident. Managers need to understand the proper notices and forms that must be provided to the employee, that they cannot refuse to accept a claim, and that it is essential to make sure an injured employee gets medical attention as soon as possible. Failure to ensure that your staff is properly trained can result in inadvertent violations of important workers’ compensation regulations.
Third, you should be familiar with some common signs of fraud and be on the lookout for red flags. One common red flag is when there are no witnesses to the incident, or the only witness is a close friend of the injured employee. Another sign that the claim could be fraudulent is if the employee is inconsistent about the details of the incident that led to the injury. If the employee refuses medical treatment or tests to confirm the injury, this could also be a sign the employee’s injury is not legitimate.
Finally, small businesses need to make sure to carry workers’’ compensation insurance in accordance with state law. They also need to report any injuries immediately to their carrier and be truthful at all times.
We are well versed in the workers’ compensation laws in California. Call us today to talk about how we can help you protect your business