Do We Have to Report Injuries to Our Workers Compensation Carrier?
Question: One of our employees suffered a work-related injury several years ago and for various
reasons we never reported the injury to our workers’ compensation carrier. Instead, we paid some of the employee’s medical expenses directly but felt like he ought to cover the rest. Now, the employee has hired an attorney who tells us we have to pay all the
medical expenses. Our comp carrier is telling us they won’t pay because we didn’t
report the injury when it happened. What should we do?
Answer: This scenario demonstrates just how important it is to report all workplace injuries to
your workers comp insurance carrier. Even without reviewing the workers’ compensation insurance contract, it seems likely the comp carrier is correct – failure to make a timely report of an employee’s injury at work can result in denial of the claim. But denial of a claim by the carrier doesn’t let the employer off the hook for its responsibility to the employee. Now, the company is in all probability liable to the employee for his medical expenses without the ability to have insurance cover those costs.
This response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, nor is this column a substitute for formal legal assistance. For help with particular legal needs, members are invited to consult with ACCA’s LegalTools Counsel, Brooke Duncan III of Adams and Reese LLP. Mr. Duncan can be reached at 504-585-0220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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