The annual data is out again – What Attorney involvement adds to workers’ comp claims
Several articles have been written about the costs employers incur when injured employees seek legal representation to help the worker navigate through the workers’ comp system.
Recent findings by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) study shows the involvement of attorneys adds greatly to employer costs and to the workers’ compensation system.
In the California system, attorneys are involved in approximately 12% of the workers’ comp claims. This percentage varies depending upon the type of claim. Also, location of the injured employee will be a determining factor of the ultimate cost of the occurrence. The highest costs occur in Southern California and particularly in Los Angeles, where attorneys were involved in 46% of indemnity claims.
CWCI used data from 2005-2010 and determined that California overall incurred additional costs of over $54,000 when an attorney was involved.
What can employers conclude from this data and what others have learned from their involvement in the workers’ comp system?
— Communications with the injured employee are a key factor to keeping costs to a more reasonable level
— Positive employee employer relationships helps all parties to work together in the common good = getting quick & appropriate medical treatment; keeping the employee working = a productive employee has a better feeling of self-worth and is more likely to resist giving into a prolonged legal process that may not place them in an improved financial or personal situation.
None of these conclusions are new, so employers what have your insurance advisors done to help you manage these costs that can be avoided?