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Do Small Business Owners Need To Worry About Worker's Comp?

As a small business owner, you may be worried about how to turn a profit in the next quarter or how to secure that business loan. However, it is also in your best interest to worry about workers’ compensation insurance. No matter how many employees that you have, your company will need to have this coverage. It may also be necessary to cover contractors or subcontractors that work for your company.

What is Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Workers’ compensation insurance allows employees to file claims against their employers after getting hurt on the job. State law may place caps on how much a person can recover in a given case in exchange for claims being approved or denied in a timely manner. Companies are not held liable for the cost of the injuries while employees are entitled to be compensated for the cost of their care in addition to a portion of their wages while they are out of work. Workers are generally entitled to compensation even if an accident that led to their injuries was their fault.

What Happens if Your Company Doesn’t Provide Such Coverage?

If your company does not carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy, you or your company could be liable for fines or other costs. It may also be necessary for a business owner to cover the cost of a workplace injury on his or her own. This could financially cripple a company as well as force a business owner to sell personal items to pay for a workplace injury.  A company must provide coverage for employees regardless of how the company is structured. However, you generally don’t have to provide coverage for yourself, and it may not be necessary to provide coverage for family members or children who work for the business.

How Can a Worker Be Hurt on the Job?

There are many ways in which a worker may be hurt on the job. For instance, it is possible that an employee could slip on a floor that had not been properly mopped or sprain an ankle after tripping over a rug that wasn’t perfectly flat on the floor. Some personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas know that it is also possible for employees to get hurt after inhaling chemicals or after being exposed to loud noises for long periods of time. A lack of training by an employer and a lack of experience on the part of an employee may increase the risk of an injury. Those who are using machines that they are not familiar with or performing tasks that they haven’t done before increase the odds of a mistake occurring. Therefore, it may be a good idea to have newer or younger employees shadow those who have more experience.

What is the Workers’ Compensation Process Like?

The first step in the process is for an employee to report the injury to a manager or company owner. After that happens, an accident report is written and the employee is sent to get treatment. Once an employee has seen a doctor, it is usually time for a workers’ compensation claim to be filed. Evidence such as the initial accident report or a note from a doctor may be used to bolster an employee’s claim. Finally, the claim will be investigated before it is approved or denied. If it is denied, an injured worker has the right to appeal with the help of an attorney.

Worker safety should be a top priority no matter how large your business is. Taking steps to prevent accidents is the best way to reduce a company’s injury rate and keep your business running smoothly. However, if an accident does occur, workers’ compensation insurance can protect both the worker and the company from financial ruin.

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