Workers’ compensation claims can have a huge impact on employers if they lack the necessary insurance. This is due to the fact they will have to pay out covered medical expenses and lost wages directly to the employee.
Plus, the employer will still be covering the expense of hiring a temporary worker to cover their needs while the permanent worker gets better.
We’ll outline the Indiana requirements for employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage and how a workers’ compensation claim impacts an employer.
Indiana Law on Which Employers Must Carry Insurance
Indiana requires that most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect them from financial liabilities. There are a few exceptions for employers who do not have to cover their employees with workers’ compensation coverage.
Employers are not required to provide coverage for railroad employees or independent contractors. But other than that, any company that employs at least one person should have workers’ compensation coverage.
How Workers’ Compensation Affects Employers
There are six main areas of impact to an employer when it comes to workers’ compensation claims.
1. Administrative Burdens
The employer must complete notices and filings with their insurance company if you miss more than one day of work due to a workplace injury. This might include pulling together reports and information about both the employee and the incident, which can put an administrative burden on the employer.
2. Expense of Arguing a Workers’ Compensation Case
Some employers challenge the legitimacy of a workers’ compensation claim. When they do so, they could face attorney fees and court costs to negotiate these cases. The process for fighting these cases generally costs more than settling the claim with the employee directly.
3. Settlement or Lawsuit Expenses
If an employer chooses to challenge a workers’ compensation claim and loses, they will either end up paying a settlement fee or lawsuit expenses. This might mean hiring an attorney to handle the case and paying related court costs.
4. Work Completion Impacts
After an accident, when the injured party is unable to work, it could mean that the employer’s project pauses due to investigations or lack of staffing. Or, it could mean paying overtime to other employees to make up for the lost work from the injured team member.
Sometimes putting new people on a project or job site means lost productivity as you work to get the new team members up to speed. On the other hand, lost employee morale could be impacting your team after a workplace accident.
Finally, your employer could lose some productivity time in putting new safety measures in place to prevent future accidents.
5. Hiring and Training Temporary Workers
Some employers hire temporary workers to cover the injured employee’s recovery time. But finding these workers and training them to do the work can put a strain on the employer and their project. This will impact how quickly the project can resume moving forward and could be costly when getting new employees the training that they need.
6. Increases in Workers’ Compensation Premiums
Insurance premiums are based on the risk assessment an insurance company gives an employer. With repeated claim filings, the insurance company might see the employer as a higher risk, meaning they charge them higher premiums. This is especially true for companies that have above industry average report filings.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You have a legal right to workers’ compensation if you were injured during the performance of your job duties. Regardless of any impact on your employer’s business, they cannot prevent you from seeking workers’ compensation or exercising your rights. If your employer is giving you a hard time about filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should discuss the matter with an Indiana workers’ compensation attorney. Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart to learn how we can help.