Directions Around an Unexpected Detour
Workplace injuries can be an upsetting disruption to any employee’s career path as well as impact their personal lives. Whether it’s the result of a sudden accident, cumulative trauma, or occupational hazard exposure, these injuries can be painful and emotionally distressing. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide medical treatment to recover from a work related injury or illness, partially replace lost wages during recovery, and help employees return to work. At the same time, the regulatory maze of the workers’ compensation system can create additional stress and uncertainty when an injured worker is trying to focus on getting well.
Keenan takes the challenges injured workers face very seriously and we realize how difficult the system is to understand when someone has never had to deal with it before. To help those who are facing an occupational injury or illness, we have designed a new Injured Workers web site. The site pulls together important resources injured workers need in an organized way, and includes guidance written in clear language. From reporting the injury and obtaining treatment, to filing a claim and following its progress, our new web site gives injured employees directions through a sometimes confusing route to recovery. This site is freely available without charge.
Most injured workers will return to their job following treatment. It’s important that they have the information needed to know when and how to make that transition back to work. It takes a team effort between the injured employee, medical professionals, claims administrator, and the employer. The resources on the Injured Worker site include extensive information for this critical phase in the workers’ compensation process.
Thankfully, the vast majorities of claims are resolved with employees fully recovering from their injury or illness without any permanent disability or need for future medical treatment. In those instances where injuries or illnesses result in permanent disability, or require future medical care, claims are settled when there is an agreement between the injured employee and the claims administrator. In order to protect injured employee’s rights, whether or not they are represented by an attorney, settlements must be reviewed and approved by a workers’ compensation administrative law judge to ensure they are adequate. The site has explanations of these complex issues and how they relate to future medical care and benefits.
Of course the best advice for employees is how to avoid a workplace injury in the first place! This site features an entire section on Injury Prevention, from our entertaining and instructive Safety Shorts videos, to workstation ergonomics, and awareness training for building a safety culture.
Keenan works extensively with employer organizations throughout California to provide workers’ compensation coverage and claims administration. When an injured employee reports a claim to us, we consider them one of our important and valued customers. We invite you to take a look at the new Injured Workers web site we built for you!
About Christine Gerbasi
Christine Gerbasi is Vice President – Property & Casualty and leads our Integrated Service Team, providing training statewide to customers, assisting with the development of client specific strategic planning and delivering risk management services. Christine has been with Keenan since 1999, and works closely with both our public agency and health care customers.