Workers’ Compensation Claims And Profits Hit All-Time Highs In 2021
Although the number of job injury claims in Florida increased in 2021, insurance company profits increased even more.
Based on a thirty-eight state survey, during 2021, the number of non-COVID job injury claims increased 7.1 percent. But National Council on Compensation Insurance chief actuary Donna Glenn wasn’t worried. “There’s nothing that tells us it’s not going to decline further. “There’s safety, automation, and technology that employers continue to use to mitigate accidents in the workplace,” she told an audience in Orlando. Additionally, insurance company pretax profits increased 25 percent in 2021, which is more than double the running 10-year average. “That’s nearly a decade of double-digit operating gains,” Glenn pointed out.
Although the 2022 economic forecast for workers’ compensation insurance companies is generally rosy, some are worried that an extensive COVID lockdown in China could create more supply chain problems.
New Workers, Job Injuries, and Employer Responsibilities
If workers had to file civil damage claims to obtain compensation for their injuries, as they did in ye olden days, new employee claims would be difficult to win. Employers could easily shift part of, or all of, the blame for a workplace injury onto the victim.
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance. A Tampa workers’ compensation attorney must only establish that a work-related injury occurred at work.
The purpose of this no-fault insurance is to ensure that workers have safe work environments. An employer’s legal responsibilities go further than simply providing safety equipment. Employers must also explain to workers why the safety measures are important and train workers how to use them.
Frequently, employers assume that workers acquire this knowledge through osmosis. In other words, older employees teach new employees the ropes, including the use of, and importance of, safety equipment. That process might or might not occur. Employers must take affirmative steps to convey this vital information to their workers.
Additionally, this instruction must come in a language that workers understand. Florida has a high percentage of LEP (Limited English Proficiency) workers. These individuals are dedicated and diligent employees. Their English simply isn’t very good. Usually, employers must hire interpreters in these situations. After all, if the boss went to work in North Africa, instructions in Arabic would probably mean nothing.
If employers really drop the ball in this area and they recklessly disregarded worker safety, a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney might be able to file a civil injury claim and obtain additional compensation. As mentioned, these claims are often difficult to win. Sometimes, however, the calculated risk is worthwhile.
If you think that record insurance company profits mean higher financial benefits for injured workers, think again. Insurance companies are for-profit companies. The money they make doesn’t go into the compensation pool. Instead, it goes into the pockets of insurance company executives.
So, in many cases, it’s difficult to obtain basic, no-fault workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits usually include lost wage replacement and medical bill payment. The average attorney-driven workers’ compensation settlement is much higher than the average pro se settlement.
In terms of lost wage replacement, most injured victims receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage for the duration of their temporary disabilities. If they’re able to work part time as they recover, workers’ compensation pays two-thirds of the difference between their old and new incomes. If they’re permanently disabled, a lump sum payment, based on their current and future AWW, is usually available.
The workers’ compensation insurance company directly pays all reasonably necessary medical bills, from the first moment of emergency care to the last day of physical therapy. If the insurance company contests bill payment, a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney can connect victims with doctors who charge nothing upfront.
Reach Out to a Diligent Hillsborough County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. We routinely handle matters in Hillsborough County and nearby jurisdictions.