This is a question that I hear a lot. My response, be nice.
Once a worker is injured, they begin a journey that is usually a new one. They have many questions as to what will happen to them.
Will I lose my job?
How much will I have to pay for medical treatment?
How will I get by if I am not being paid for time off the job?
Who will help me get through this?
There are several places that the injured worker can go to for answers to these questions.
They can go to a friend, who has been through the process before.
They can contact a lawyer, whose advertisement they just saw on TV.
The best answer is if the employer has an open, supportive, and honest discussion with the injured worker. In most cases, if an injured worker is talked to and treated as “part of the work family” they will do their part to return to work without seeking to extend the duration of the claim.
It is also very important to stay in touch with the worker while he/she is away from work.
See how they are feeling.
Let them know that they are missed.
Ask if there is anything you can do to help them.
When appropriate, let them know that you would be happy to provide light duty/early return to work for them.
These steps may seem unimportant to you, but they can mean the difference between closing a claim early and having one litigated and linger on for years. Remember, the more the insurance carrier pays for claims, the more you pay for insurance.
I have instructed several of my business partners to take these steps and have seen very encouraging results. After seeing the positive results, one of my clients now sends get well cards, signed by all the co-workers to any worker whose injury keeps them away from work.
Another client offers to provide transportation to and from doctor’s visits as a means of showing how much the injured worker is missed.
If you treat an injured worker in this manner, they will understand that they are missed, needed and important. It will be much more difficult for them to take a course of action that would take advantage of the employer who cares about them.
Insurance Companies are there to pay the bills, not to help workers. You hired the employee. It is up to you to help them get back. Keep them informed, let them know that you care and that they are missed and you will see positive results. That will help minimize your cost of Insurance.