Most restaurant owners have had the experience of an employee sustaining a minor injury while on the job. The question the owners ask themselves is if they should file a workers’ compensation claim or just pay for the medical bill out of pocket?
The answer lies in how much risk the restaurant owner is willing to take. It is true that filing small claims on a frequent basis can have a negative impact on your North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance premium. However, having what looks like a minor injury turn into a major injury, or even a disability could prove to be much more costly than an increase in your insurance premium.
As an example let’s say that an employee cuts a finger and needs to have it stitched up. You decide to pay for it out of pocket rather than file a workers’ compensation claim. A week goes by and the “minor” cut has become infected causing severe sickness and permanent damage to the employee’s finger. You now decide that you should file this as a claim. Since you chose not to do so initially, your insurance company could deny the claim if they think your actions led to the injury getting worse. Now you as the restaurant owner are liable for the cost of the damage to your employee.
In our experience we have learned that it is best to always file every workers’ compensation claim within five days of an incident. Yes, you may see your rates increase, but that increase pales in comparison to the potential loss your restaurant could sustain if that minor injury becomes a major injury.
Since 1931 Penny Insurance Agency has been helping restaurant owners design cost effective insurance programs. www.pennyinsuranceagency.com.