How to prepare for and manage a workers’ compensation claim

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it is only a matter of time until someone files a workers compensation claim against your business. Being prepared will save you hours of aggravation and thousands of dollars if not more.

Nobody wants to see their employees injured. Nobody wants the downtime, and nobody wants the stress of having to deal with an attorney, a worker’s comp adjuster and all the other people that are going to get involved. By following these few steps it will be easier on you once a claim is filed.

Step One: Preparation

The first thing to do before you ever have a claim is look at the panel of doctors on the pink panels in your area. Sometimes they are actually pink and sometimes they’re not but those panels are going to have a list of doctors that you’re able to choose from when somebody is injured. We encourage you to find a doctor in your town that has experience in industrial medicine and who can quickly evaluate the needs of your injured employee.

Step Two: Getting Care 

Now that you have a doctor selected. When an employee is injured you will be able to quickly get them the care they need and get them the triage necessary for figuring out what the next steps will be. Maybe that person goes to the hospital or maybe they only need to rest. The main point is that you want to get them in the care of the right medical professional as soon as possible.

Step Three: Notify the Insurance Company

Now you can start to think about how to get your employee back to work as soon as possible? You will need to notify your insurance company to start the process. There’s going to be a form to fill out. In almost every state the form is called a WC-1. It should be in your workers comp policy. If you can’t locate it, I would encourage you to call your insurance broker and ask them for a copy of a First Notice Of Loss or a WC-1. As a last resort, you can Google one for your state. It is very important that you get the work comp claim filed and get your insurance company and the adjust involved as fast as possible. All the insurance companies today have nurses and doctors working for them. People that are can help you get your injured employee back working again.

Be sure to contact your insurance broker if you don’t already have a plan on how to manage workers comp claims. If they don’t have a plan, it’s time to look for another broker.

Step Four: Getting Back to Work 

So what happens if they can’t perform their normal job? You will want to start reviewing an alternate duty list of tasks. Depending on what body is hurt there may be some light duty work they can do. If you would like a copy of alternate duty job types for trailer and truck body manufacturers, complete the form and we will send you an email with the list. There’s about 40 different job types, including everything from counting paper clips, to sorting things, to moving some things around, to answering the phone. It is a good resource to have and can help you think outside the box, “Hey, if their arm’s hurt they can only do this. If their back’s hurt they can only do that.

Step 5: Avoiding the Attorney

Lastly, you want to make sure that your employee feels valued. You want to make sure that they feel important. The last thing that you want is the employee getting an attorney involved. There is rarely a need for an attorney to be involved in a properly handled workers’ compensation claim. Once attorneys are involved, it usually means things are not going to go well so do what you can to keep them out of the case as much as possible.

Step 6: Broker Support 

Your broker should be helping you to deal with workers compensation claims. From identifying safety issues through claims management. If you need some assistance figuring out how to prepare or handle workers compensation claims, you can use the button below to schedule a call or call us at (478) 449-5928. You can also download our list and other insurance and risk related resources we make available to truck body and trailer manufacturers on our Resources Page.