The Bureau of Justice Statistics has reported that around 60% of all property, contract and tort trials relate to some kind of personal injury.
The number of personal injury claims being made against employers is not a small number, and when this happens it can have a detrimental effect not only on your relationship with the employee, but on how your business is perceived by outsiders and other employers
What Is A Personal Injury Claim?
According to personal injury specialists Brown & Crouppen, employees may be able to make a claim against their employer if they have been injured or become ill as a result of their employers perceived negligence.
This includes claims for personal injury, occupational disease, wrongful death and social security disability. Employees might claim for things like:
- Slips and trips.
- Falling objects or falls from a height.
- Injuries that they have sustained from lifting heavy objects.
- Assaults at work.
- Injuries sustained from dangerous machinery.
- Illness or injury through exposure to harmful substances.
- Illness or an injury as a result of not having been issued the correct protective equipment.
- Defective work equipment.
Employees might claim to compensate for the cost of their medical bills, or for the emotional or physical ramifications of an illness or injury that they have sustained as a result of their work.
How Much Can An Employee Claim For?
The most common outcome for personal injury trials is settlement. This means that the employer would pay a compensation claim to the employee, usually as a way to avoid the time and expense of going to trial and to avoid the negative publicity that comes with it.
The overall average for personal injury payouts is $52,900. This figure is weighted by a few very large payouts however, for most people the figure would be somewhere between $3,000 and $25,000. The figure awarded will be contingent on the severity of the illness or injury, as well as the degree to which the company in question was negligent or at fault.
The settlement amount will also be determined by the limits of the defendant’s insurance policy – they will only offer settlement in an amount that is covered by it.
How Can You Avoid A Personal Injury Claim?
If you want to avoid personal injury claims, then there are a few things that you can do.
First, it is important that you have a solid management procedure in place. This means educating employees at all levels about safety in the workplace and ensuring that you have taken all possible actions to safeguard against risks.
As part of your management procedure, you should also carry out regular risk assessments to identify any new risks and ensure that you have mitigated for them. You should also make yourself familiar with the law around accidents in the workplace and ensure that you are compliant.
Finally, the most important thing is keeping an open dialogue with your employees. Take their complaints and concerns seriously. This will help you to solve issues that you may have missed, but it also makes your employee feel more loyal to you so that even if they do injure themselves, they will feel less inclined to make a claim against you.