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Common defenses employers use for workers' compensation

Workers' compensation claims are common in the workplace these days, especially at places of employment that deal with dangerous conditions on a regular basis. However, those claims do not have to derail the company's daily activities. Here are some common defenses that employers use when faced with workers' compensation claims.

Employees injured or sickened on the job are entitled to compensation through workers' compensation claims. The insurance company for the employer pays out the compensation after performing an investigation into the injury or illness, but not all are compensable under workers' compensation.

A commonly-used defense for employers is that of self-inflicted injury. Any injury that an employee suffers because he or she self-inflicted it, is not covered by workers' compensation. These usually occur because the employee is fraudulently trying to obtain compensation. Another example is any injury sustained by an employee in a fight that he or she started at the workplace.

Employees injured or sickened on the job are required to see a doctor. The examination will help determine how much compensation the employee is due. Failure to attend doctor appointments can lead to denial of your claim.

The inability to determine the cause of the injury can also lead to denial of the claim. In order for a workers' compensation claim to be approved, the cause of the injury must be proven. This is done using an independent medical examination.

Employers commonly use failure to notify as a defense to workers' compensation. The typical timeframe for employer notification ranges from 30 to 90 days.

Another defense that employers use is the claim was not filed within the state's statute of limitations, which is different from the timeframe required to inform the employer of the injury. Most statutes of limitations range from one to three years.

An experienced employment law attorney can help your company defend itself against a workers' compensation claim if an employee hasn't met his or her requirements.

Source: Findlaw, "Common Workers' Compensation Defenses," accessed Jan. 20, 2017

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