What to Do If Your Employee Is Injured on the Job

Though there are legal safeguards in place to protect workers in any industry, here’s what statistics tell us:

One employee is injured every three minutes in Washington State.

While many injury claims are legitimate, the reality is, some employees misrepresent the cause or nature of their injury. This is called workers’ compensation fraud. In some cases, employees may cheat the system in an attempt to reap the personal and financial rewards that come from an on-the-job accident, when their injury did not actually occur at work… or they aren’t actually injured at all. Regardless, employers must follow a specific protocol when any injury is reported.

What Happens When an Employee Reports an Injury?

When employees claim to be injured on the job, they will have to file a report on the accident with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). At this time, you will need to fill out a report about the accident as well. You will be notified in writing if your employee takes out a claim for workers’ compensation coverage. You are allowed, as the employer, to both protest and appeal claims decisions. Any claim decisions can impact your premium for workers’ compensation insurance, which means even if a claim is false, you may end up paying more. For this reason, it’s critical to act as soon as possible if you have a sound reason to believe a claim is false.

How Can You Tell if a Claim is False?

Sometimes, it’s simply that the story of the accident doesn’t quite match up with the nature of the injury. Or perhaps you overhear details before or shortly after the incident that lead you to suspect you don’t know the whole story. Talk to other employees, particularly those who were present or working at the time of the accident and those who socialize with the injured party. Include as much information as possible in official company records, such as human resources reports and interviews.

Does the Evidence Fit the Story?

Does something about the story seem askew? If your company has comprehensive security systems, there may be camera footage of the event and the time leading up to it that can provide insight. Perhaps there’s footage of the injured party arriving at work, already limping from a preexisting injury. Maybe there’s footage of them staging a fall. This is where the process can become sensitive and time-consuming. It’s important to work with an expert to carefully review any evidence left behind from the accident and other applicable materials as you move forward.

What To Do If You Think a Claim Is False

Now is the time to enlist the help of a professional firm such as Stop Claims to begin gathering evidence and fully investigate a fraud allegation. Services may include conducting a private investigation, performing a thorough case review, providing general expertise to follow up on the likelihood of fraud, and (ultimately) potentially saving your company money.

Stop Claims Can Help With Appeals

If you believe an employee has filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim, Stop Claims is here to help. We partner with medical and investigative professionals who can help disprove fraudulent claims with credible evidence and ultimately save your company money. We also have a strong track record of demonstrated success — so don’t allow yourself to fall victim to a potentially damaging scam! The choice is easy.

How Workers’ Compensation Fraud Takes Advantage of You and Your Coworkers

Attention, Washington State employers and employees: Did you know, even if you aren’t directly involved in or victimized by a fraudulent workers’ compensation case, the ripple effect of each statewide fraud case is still likely to reach you?

Employers and employees that are part of the Washington State Fund pay toward workers’ compensation premiums on a quarterly basis, and when fraud occurs, those premiums rise and everyone in the state network suffers. In 2016, Washington State businesses experienced a 2% general rate increase — a number that reflects that year’s open workers’ compensation cases across the board, including fraud and abuse of the system. Furthermore, a new proposed increase of 0.70% is expected to go into effect at the beginning of 2017 if approved.

Why does the L&I base rate matter? An employer’s industry will dictate what base rate they will pay. The resulting workers’ compensation premium cost is deducted from each employee’s hourly wages, as well as from the employer’s profits. When more fraudulent cases occur, premiums skyrocket, and less of your hard-earned dollars end up in your bank account. Even if your business has earned a claim-free discount following a three-year experience period without claims involving time-loss or disability benefits, base rate increases can still raise your final workers’ compensation rates.

Don’t get stuck sacrificing your earnings to pay for a coworker’s (or even a stranger’s) phony injury. Stop Claims sides with employers whose experience ratings and business success have been affected by workers’ compensation fraud. If you believe you’ve been victimized by fraud, our experts will help you face Washington State L&I representatives and boost your chances of a favorable decision. A success for one business facing fraud is equal to a success for employers and employees statewide. Let’s work together to prevent the bad apples from skewing the system against the rest of us!

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L&I Increases Workers Premiums 2% (Or More!)

The latest increase in workers’ compensation insurance was recently announced by Washington State’s Labor and Industries Department. Rates will be raised by 2 percent across the board in order to accommodate rising costs of compensation for injured workers.

This raise amounts to a little over 1 cent per hour worked, and though that might sound like a very small difference, some businesses will bear increases that are much higher depending on their liability history. If you’ve had compensable claims filed against your business in the past, your rates will rise more–up to 25 percent! This kind of increase in insurance premiums is untenable for many businesses, and can result in layoffs or even business closures.

If you’ve had claims filed against you, these new L&I premium increases are probably hitting your business hard, and if you believe those claims were false or unfair you’re likely furious that your premiums will be increasing up to 25 percent.

Understanding rate increases isn’t easy; neither is fighting those increases. If you want help, contact us at Stop Claims! We’re happy to walk you through these new premiums, help you determine what you’re responsible for, and hopefully help you fight any claims that will raise your premiums and cause you hardship. We have experience successfully helping employers petition L&I, protest or appeal claims, or build a case. You don’t have to take these increases laying down!