Maybe you work for a small business and you know that a claim will mean higher workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Perhaps you are in line for a management position and feel worried about your superiors perceiving you as a drain on the company if you ask for benefits.
There are many reasons why someone might think that the best choice for them is to avoid a workers’ compensation claim. They might ask their boss to go see their doctor and try to get medical care with their own health insurance.
You might think that foregoing workers’ compensation insurance will endear you to your employer or help you protect your career advancement. However, it puts you at risk of having financial liability in the future.
Your health insurance doesn’t pay if someone else is liable
In the insurance world, liability is a crucial factor. If you get hurt in someone’s car, their vehicle liability policy or the policy of the driver who caused the crash will pay for your medical care — not your health insurance policy. The same is true of a homeowner’s policy if you fall down the stairs at your brother’s house.
Your medical insurance provider wants to pass liability on in any situation where they can. If they discover that your benefit claim relates to an injury on the job, they will likely deny the claim or attempt to subrogate the claim to your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. In other words, they will send a bill and try to initiate a claim despite you trying to avoid the workers’ compensation system.
Depending on the timing, you might be the one on the hook for those costs
You need to file a claim to get workers’ compensation benefits. Before you do that, you have to report the situation to your employer. If there isn’t a proper paper trail, the workers’ compensation policy might refuse you coverage.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim promptly after an injury protects you. You can avoid incurring costs yourself and open the door to disability benefits if you must take time off of work.