Author, Jim Malone, Claims Advocate, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
When a work-related accident occurs, as a business owner or manager, it is our nature to want to analyze the situation in order to learn how to avoid it in the future. However, the reporting of the incident is equally as important. With the recent requirement to report first aid claims, timely reporting for all claims is recognized as being critical for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, timely reporting allows for immediate care of any injuries that may have occurred as a result of the incident. It promotes prompt referral for medical evaluation, documentation of the bodily areas affected, and provides recommendations for treatment.
Promptly reporting an injury shows the injured employee, and their coworkers, that the company cares about them. When an employee knows the employer cares, they are less likely to litigate the claim, which can significantly reduce the overall cost to the employer.
Elimination of Hazards
Timely reporting can trigger the immediate assessment of the scene and cause of the accident. The initial focus is to document the area and determine if there is still an injurious exposure or condition present that may need to be addressed to prevent further incidents or injuries. Timely reporting also allows for prompt investigation of the accident and the scene of the accident, identify witnesses, secure faulty tools or equipment for safety and subrogation purposes, and to convey a sense of responsibility and concern for the employee that their safety is of extreme importance.
Prompt investigations into the cause of a near miss, accidents, and injuries can lead to an understanding of the factors that lead up to the incident. Thus, the employer has the opportunity to make changes in processes and improvements in safety in order to prevent future near miss events or accidents from occurring.
Timely reporting can directly affect the overall costs of a claim. Decreased medical costs are realized when injuries are promptly assessed, allowing for treatment to start immediately. Injured employees tend to recover quickly when treatment is provided right away. Swift recoveries usually result in shorter periods of temporary total and/or temporary partial disability, fewer diagnostic studies, physical therapy visits, injections, surgeries, permanent physical limitations, work restrictions or permanent disability percentages, and lower future medical care needs. This translates into lower financial resources allocated to these claims.
The timely reporting of a claim promotes positive morale among employees; helps remove potential future hazards from the workplace and can significantly reduce overall the cost of incidents.
For more information about claims reporting, contact Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc. at (619) 937-0164.