Prompt Reporting of Workers' Comp Claims Pays Off in Real Dollars

Timely reporting of Workers’ Compensation claims makes good business sense and it helps maintain positive employee relations. Claims should ideally be reported on the same day that the accident occurs, but that is not always feasible. Your goal, however, should be to report 50 percent or more of your claims within 24 hours and 90 percent or more of your claims within three days of the injury date. Reporting in all cases should be completed within the required time specified by state law.

Direct consequences of not reporting claims promptly

There are a number of reasons why you should file Workers’ Compensation claims on a timely basis, not the least of which is the direct impact on the cost of your insurance. Filing a claim within a day or two of an incident can help you:

  • Reduce medical costs
  • Reduce administrative costs
  • Reduce lost-work time
  • Reduce litigation costs
  • Reduce indemnity payments

Numerous studies over time show the value of immediate claim reporting. The numbers vary because of state, injury, employer and employee mix, but are consistently supportive of the importance of prompt reporting.

Claims delayed by just three days increase risk of additional costs

  • The chances of attorney involvement increase by 50 percent. After the third day, workers often feel their employer doesn’t have an interest in resolving the issue and seek an attorney as their only recourse.
  • Medical costs are likely to rise 16 percent or more. After three days, an employee is inclined to seek the advice and services of an independent healthcare provider who may unnecessarily order additional tests and prolonged treatment.