Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Workers Comp Costs Decline
As noted in this press release/article workers compensation costs have been declining. While medical costs are always high the fact is there is more unemployment and more hiring of overseas labor, especially in manufacturing. Construction is down. Hiring is down. With less workers there can be less claims and those working may hesitate to file a claim in such a tough economy. I also think that many claims are still contested and in medical matters the advantage is with the insurer/employer. You usually do not chose your doctor, they do. In many cases it can be difficult to prove you sustained a work injury when the other side fights it and brings in their doctors. The claimant, again in this tough economy, may not have the funds to make it a fair fight. I read case after case where I suspect claimants lose when the hired guns (experts hired by the other side) provide opinions which overwhelm what I consider common sense. Yet that is the way it is when a matter is medical in nature (such as did the claimant's problems come from work or elsewhere) and experts are required to analyze the claim. The smart claimant may fight back and spend the bucks but it remains a risk every time there is a hearing. The word spreads and some hurt at work decide it is not worth the hassle. Originally the workers compensation system was set up to provide prompt action and benefits. That has eroded away in recent years. Cases take months and often years to be settled or resolved. I have heard of people deciding to use their health insurance just to avoid the workers comp system. That is not only a shame and not only shameful it is also wrong. What does it mean? Employer costs for workers comp insurance are down to levels not seen in 30 years as noted in the article.