Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Friday, May 30, 2014

Injured employees and the right to workers' compensation

In a recent post, we commented that employers are well aware of the costs of workers' compensation claims and, because of the financial impact of such claims, aren't always supportive of the rights of injured employers. A recent article in Small Business Trends highlights this issue, and notes that companies may be able to save money on workers' compensation claims by providing their employees voluntary accident and disability insurance as part of their benefits packages.

A certain number of employers have reported that offering such benefits can indeed decrease workers' compensation claims, and thereby the costs of workplace injury. In some cases, such insurance can be added by employers at no additional cost to the company. This is certainly a positive thing from an employer's perspective, but advocates for injured workers should view such recommendations with a healthy dose of skepticism, since they may not ultimately be for the benefit of workers. 

While having access to voluntary accident and disability insurance may in some cases be beneficial not only to employers but also to employees, employees should always be aware of their workers’ compensation rights and on alert for employers who attempt to convince them to accept alternative forms of compensation. Employers, to be sure, ought to be cautious about such recommendations as well, since insurance companies offering accident and disability policies may end up only covering a fraction of the total judgment in many workplace injury cases.

Employees should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney whenever they have problems with an employer cooperating with a workers’ compensation claim, or when an employer is in violation of any duty under Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law. 

Source: Small Business Trends, “Reduce Workers’ compensation Claims with Accident and Disability Insurance,” Tom Giddens, April 28, 2014.


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