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Jun 30, 201401:41 PMThe Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

Tips for effective injury prevention and claims management

(page 2 of 2)

To encourage timely reporting of an incident, employers should convey to employees the importance of reporting injuries immediately. Let employees know that prompt reporting allows for the timely payment of claims benefits — a key concern to injured employees.

Employers and employees must also understand that fast reporting ensures that appropriate medical treatment is delivered, which can prevent the injury from getting worse.

Communication with the claims adjuster and the employee

Beyond the legal aspects, employers should immediately identify any concerns or red flags. This should not be documented on the First Report of Injury because it is filed with the state and provided to the employee. As a best practice, employers should identify and communicate red flags as part of the initial investigation and reporting procedure and provide this information to the assigned claims adjuster. After all, it will not be nearly as beneficial for the carrier to learn about these red flags years or months later when a proper investigation can no longer be done and thousands of dollars have been paid. Employers should continue to report any red flags that occur over the duration of the claim.

Another best practice is to stay in touch with the employee. Plaintiff attorneys readily admit that employees seek representation when they feel unfairly treated or think the employer does not care about them. A “get well” card sent shortly after the injury and regular communication to check on the employee’s progress can go a long way toward showing the individual that he or she is valued. Studies show these small gestures have a monumental impact on returning employees to work and limiting litigation.

Thomas Boudreau is the Property & Casualty Practice group leader/VP in Wisconsin for Associated Financial Group.

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