How to Start a Workers Comp Investigation on an Employee’s Claim
According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of workers’ compensation is about $40,051. No matter the industry you serve, your company is at risk of a workers’ comp claim. You may think leaving the investigating to the Department of Labor is the best approach.
However, you should conduct your own workers’ comp investigation. While you should consult with a legal expert, learning the basics about these investigations is key to obtain the best results. Don’t know where to start?
Collect Statements from the Parties Involved
Witness accounts are the starting point in any workers’ comp claim investigation. You should collect statements from the injured party, employees and any witness who saw what happened. Before sitting down with your witnesses, you should write down the questions you’ll ask them.
Make sure your questions are easy to understand and relevant to the claim. Remember you want to confirm every detail about the event and injury. When you question the injured employee, it’s vital to obtain their personal information such as date of birth, name, social security number, among other details.
Examine and Gather Evidence of the Scene
When an employee suffers an injury or accident at their workplace, employers must examine and collect any evidence of the scene. You should take photos of the scene. Keep in mind the judge in charge of the procedure will ask employers to demonstrate compliance with any applicable regulations.
If a forklift or any equipment caused the injury, you should have an expert inspect it. Ask them to write a report about the condition of the equipment.
Compile Back-Up Evidence to Corroborate Witness Statements
While witness statements are essential to any claim, you should also compile additional evidence backing up these testimonies. Video footage, expert witnesses, and reports are some examples of back-up evidence. When gathering proof, you should make note of any details that don’t match the statements of your witnesses.
Consult Your Legal Department or Attorney
Investigating your employee’s claim may seem simple. However, you should consult your legal department immediately after you learn about the incident. Your legal experts know how to proceed in these cases.
You should forward them all the gathered evidence. These documents will allow them to offer insight into the potential outcome.
If you’re unsure about what to do, you should consider consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about the potential outcome. A lawyer can provide insight into the best approach in your case and how to protect your company. Keep in mind that you should show them all the evidence to obtain an accurate picture of the potential outcome in your case.
Conducting a Workers’ Comp Investigation Can Protect Your Company
You may think conducting a workers’ comp investigation will do more harm than good. However, investigating your workers’ claim can help you secure the best outcome. Protecting your company will depend on covering your bases and conducting an in-depth investigation.
While your legal department may conduct this examination, you should consider hiring an expert. An attorney who specializes in labor law can provide insight into the potential outcome and the best way to investigate the claim.