Many business owners in New Jersey would admit that they would not want to face a workers’ compensation claim or be fined for violating safety standards, but others, interestingly enough, do not share this concern. In fact, the older and larger a company is, the more it can benefit by ignoring worker safety and facing any claims that arise.
This was the conclusion of a study conducted by an international team of researchers. It involved more than 100,000 Oregon-based organizations and analyzed their survival over a 25-year period. It turns out that companies can survive up to 56% longer (that is, continue operating even after a change in owners) if they faced workers’ compensation claims.
Specifically, those companies with over 100 employees would survive longer compared to similar-sized companies that did not face claims. This outcome would hold until quarterly claims exceeded $9 million, which most companies would never reach anyway.
For companies that employ fewer than 30 people, the benefits of dealing with claims were minimal or non-existent. Researchers were not able to explain just why facing claims would improve a company’s survival and profits.
The study reinforces the dilemma that many businesses face. It’s rare for businesses to make safety a top priority while also improving their competitiveness.
Those injured on the job may be faced with mounting medical bills and be unable to return to work. A temporary or permanent disability may have even diminished their capacity to earn a living. By filing a workers’ compensation claim, though, they may be reimbursed for these losses. The process can be difficult, so victims may want a lawyer to help them. If the employer opposes the claims, the lawyer may assist with the appeal. He or she may explain when it’s advisable to opt for a settlement.