Employers are responsible for injuries sustained on the job. This includes injuries sustained on a job site, in an office, and while driving on the clock. Unfortunately, car accidents are all too common in big cities like Plano, Texas.
Every year, thousands of employees are injured on the job across a variety of industries. Although dangerous industries like construction have the highest rate of injuries and deaths, not all workplace injuries are dramatic. For example, many office workers develop painful musculoskeletal injuries that can destroy their careers.
No matter what industry you’re in, your response to a workplace injury matters. If you don’t take the right actions, you could end up getting sued and/or fined. If an employee files a personal injury lawsuit against you, you could be on the hook for lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and more.
Are you prepared to handle a workplace injury? Here are 6 steps to take when an employee has been injured on the job.
1. Get them medical help
If you’re around when an accident happens, get your injured employee the proper medical care. If you need to do triage while you call 911, jump on that.
If the injury isn’t serious enough to require calling 911, assess the situation, and take them to the hospital if necessary. If they can drive themselves to the hospital, dismiss them so they can go to the emergency room.
Hopefully, you have a plan for shifting around responsibilities in an emergency situation. If not, come up with a plan before you have to handle this type of situation.
2. Document the incident from your perspective
Documentation is critical. Once you’ve taken care of your worker’s injuries, document everything that happened. If you didn’t witness the incident, talk to other employees to find out what happened.
Your documentation might become necessary for their workers’ compensation claim and could become part of your defense in a personal injury lawsuit.
Documentation and interviewing employees will also provide insight into the nature of the accident. If there was anything you could have done to prevent the accident, you’ll be made aware of that so you can implement a solution.
3. Make sure you have workers’ compensation insurance
Did you get workers’ compensation insurance for your business? If you have a policy, you can expect your injured employee to file a claim.
Having workers’ compensation insurance will be a blessing if an employee is injured on the job. Not all states require workers’ comp, like Texas, but it’s still a good thing to carry.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance policy that compensates workers for injuries sustained on the job. Since it’s a no-fault policy, it doesn’t matter who caused the accident – injured workers will be compensated.
You want a workers’ comp policy because it will prevent employees from filing lawsuits against your company. You won’t avoid all lawsuits, but when employees can get compensated quickly, most won’t file a lawsuit.
4. Make it easy for your injured employee to file a workers’ comp claim
When your injured employee asks for the forms to file a workers’ comp claim, make the process easy for them. Remember, you have a policy because you want employees to file claims instead of suing you.
Make your claim forms easily available. Most employers keep their forms in a document organizer attached to the wall in the break room. Don’t discourage an injured employee from filing a claim with threats, intimidation, or by punishing them.
5. Prepare for a lawsuit
Always be prepared to be served with a lawsuit. Your employee might not want to file a workers’ comp claim, and in some cases, they will go straight to court.
However, not all companies can be sued. For example, ridesharing companies in Texas could soon be shielded from lawsuits after crashes. Make sure you know if your business is exempt from lawsuits.
6. Accommodate your injured employee
Do your best to accommodate an injured employee with a different position or a physically altered work environment.
If your employee can’t physically do their job, here are some ideas to keep them employed:
· Give your injured employee administrative tasks to perform at home.
· Create a new position that serves the company.
· Train them for a different position
· Ask them if there’s anything new they can contribute to the company.
An injured employee will be grateful for any work they can get since they’ll need the income.
Stay within the law
Protect yourself when an employee is injured and follow the law to the letter. If they file a lawsuit, anything you do will be brought up in court.