It’s no fun to be involved in a potential Workers’ Compensation court case, aside from the expense there is a lot of uncertainty as to time frame for the trail, the time it takes to prepare, and the trail itself.
Plus, win or lose, the attorneys, expert witnesses, and varying court and trail associated fees all have to get paid. Then there is the loss of hours for yourself and your workers. Bottom line, whatever you can do to make it go by quickly and efficiently is going to save you time and money.
Here are some ways to make the whole thing go down easier and faster.
- Start the Process Immediately.
Make sure that your representative at your carrier is given of every bit of paperwork he or she needs as soon as possible. Then by all means stay on it. A couple of phones calls and some e-mails create a paper trail and insure that your problem doesn’t end up on the bottom of the pile. That said you don’t want to be a pain so it’s always good to have something to add to the case or to ask for confirmation of receipt.
A great thing to send over quickly is the personnel file of the person making the claim. Include safety records, and any negative write-ups of the employee. Time sheets work well too especially if your worker has issues showing up on time or leaving early. Also medical records. Important stuff.
- Stay on it
Once the case has been assigned to a lawyer it’s in your best interest to talk to that person as well. Don’t just think “Well it’s in the system now it will take its course.” The attorney who is representing you, much like the claims adjuster has seen a lot of cases and might have some questions that the other did not think of. You’d be surprised how one good thought can turn everything around in your favor so take advantage of your access to the attorney and see if there is something everyone missed.
By developing a relationship you can emphasize the importance of the case to you and your business, if this is the type of case that can seriously affect your bottom line they need to know it. 100K is a ton of money to a small business and peanuts to a mega corporation
- Do Your Homework
Ask around, particularly among the rest of your staff. The more you know about the habits of the claimant and can pass along the greater the chances that he or she will slip up. Did he like to bowl? Does she line dance? Does the guy load his own groceries into his car at the local supermarket when his claim is for a bad back? I know it sounds a little “invasive” but let’s face it, the person filling this claim (if it’s false) is breaking the law and stealing from you. No mercy. Ask around.
Follow these three tips and your chances of winning go up. That said… court cases (sigh). Good luck.