The cost of nonfatal workplace injuries to employers

| Mar 13, 2017 | Workers' Compensation |

Louisiana employers might be interested to learn that businesses shelled out approximately $60 billion in workers’ compensation benefits for nonfatal workplace injuries in 2016. Employers may be able to reduce the amount of workers’ compensation that they pay by identifying critical risk areas.

The top five causes of workplace injuries were found to account for 63.8 percent of all workplace injuries. Overexertion, such as lifting, holding, carrying or pulling objects, was the top cause of injury, costing businesses $13.79 billion. Falling on the same level cost $10.62 billion while falls to lower levels cost about $4.43 billion. Injuries that were caused by being struck by equipment or an object resulted in $3.89 billion in costs. Finally, bodily reactions and other exertions cost businesses $3.89 billion.

When a workplace injury occurs, there is a process that must be followed to seek worker’s compensation benefits. Employees need to report their claim to their employer as soon as possible. If the claim is accepted, the first benefit check should arrive within two weeks after the injury is reported. If the claim is denied, however, it can be difficult for employees to pay their medical costs and all of their other bills while they have no source of income.

If a worker’s compensation claim is denied, an attorney may assist with the appeals process by providing a written dispute. The lawyer may also help the worker go through the mediation process. While some claims are successfully mediated, there are cases where employers and insurers argue that an employee is not as seriously injured as claimed. They may also accuse the employee of injuring themselves off the clock. In these cases, the lawyer may work to represent the client’s best interests.