A new report from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found the workers' compensation system has failed injured workers by having employees and taxpayers foot most of the bill when workers get injured on the job. The report points to a combination of factors which have shifted the cost from employers and workers' compensation carriers to the employees and taxpayers who now foot the bill. The factors include: (1) Erosion of health and income benefits which no longer cover the cost of recovery, (2) Widespread under-reporting of on the job injuries, and (3) The ever increasing practice of misclassifying employees so they do not qualify for workers' compensation insurance.
The most telling quote from the report comes from the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels, "If companies had to pick up the true cost, they'd be making workplaces more safer." The report found employers pick up only about 20% of the bill for workplace injuries and illnesses through the workers compensation system. The mix of the factors listed above, along with states like Florida scaling back on benefits, make it even more difficult, if not impossible, for injured workers to cover the cost of their medical care and lost income.
Workers' compensation insurance companies often deny benefits which should be paid. Do not accept the denial of your workers' compensation case without standing up for your rights. If your workers' compensation benefits are not being provided properly, contact Lancaster & Eure today.
The Report can be found at: Labor Department Finds Workers Comp Fails Injured Workers