If your business has workers’ compensation insurance, understanding how to categorize and qualify work injuries properly is essential for both legal and insurance purposes. Unfortunately, workplace injuries are not uncommon and may happen even in the best-managed work sites. However, determining the right categorization for injuries that occur on company property or during the performance of job duties can help get benefits to your employees quicker and may help prevent serious claims or lawsuits. Here are the essential steps your business should go through to deal with work injuries.
Determine Whether the Injury Qualifies as a “Work Injury”
Before you can submit an injury to your insurance provider for coverage, you may first need to determine whether the injury qualifies for workers’ compensation. Though definitions may vary by provider, work injuries are generally injuries that occur:
- While traveling for professional work purposes
- While commuting if driving is part of the job, as is the case for truck drivers, for example
- While performing job duties as outlined in the job description or stated in managerial expectations
- While on the physical worksite, even if job duties were not being performed at the moment of the injury
Place the Injury in the Correct Category for Insurance Purposes
Once you’ve determined that the injury does, indeed, qualify as a work injury for insurance purposes, the next step is to categorize it correctly. There are at least three main categories of injuries, including the following, so be sure to review the definitions of each carefully.
- Repetitive stress injuries, which develop over time and may include conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome
- Traumatic injuries, which result from unexpected accidents and could encompass internal bleeding, bone fractures, organ or nerve damage, sprains, concussions or traumatic brain injuries, tears, and more
- Exposure injuries or illnesses, which occur after exposure to infection, viruses, fumes, electricity, and other extreme conditions, and could include severe burns, poisoning, different types of cancer, and more
Consider Providing Other Support If the Injury Isn’t Covered by Insurance
Even though a given injury may not qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, your business may still want to offer other support to the affected employee. This can boost your company’s reputation as well as your workers’ morale. For instance, it would be helpful to:
- Offer paid or unpaid time off and medical leave to give the employee time to recover
- Send the employee well wishes and messages of support from the business
- Encourage the employee to apply for Social Security disability benefits or other government-sponsored benefits if applicable to his or her case
Handling work injuries appropriately and efficiently when they occur is critical for legal, financial, and insurance purposes. If one of your employees suffers a work injury in the future, be sure your business moves through these essential steps to properly categorize and qualify the injury.
InsureMyWorkComp is a digital brokerage that helps clients find the right workers’ compensation solution for their business needs. Unlike other online platforms, we will help you to work with an agent who can provide you the right solution for your risk profile. Our staff has over 50 years of workers’ compensation underwriting and sales experience, and we are confident that we will provide you the support that you need. For more information or to get a quote, contact us today at (855) 340-9138.