What Are A Small Business Owner's Legal Responsibilities Regarding Workers' Compensation?
One of the first steps you take when you start a business is to hire qualified employees. While some might take this lightly, employing workers is an important responsibility. For example, you must ensure that the workplace is safe and secure, facilitating operations without hazards. However, it might be impossible to mitigate against all potential injuries, which is where insurance comes in. As a small business owner, you ought to set up a workers' compensation policy to avoid injury lawsuits from employees. Here are your legal duties in this regard.
Your Legal Duty as an Employer
The law in most states requires you to purchase insurance to cover your employees. Thus, operating a business without this coverage could leave you open to injury claims, which can drain you financially. An untimely injury claim can even lead to the complete closure of your business. Nonetheless, setting up an insurance policy is a viable way to protect yourself against such eventualities. It is prudent to consult a lawyer when purchasing this insurance product. They can review your business versus the policies available and then advise you on how much coverage you need to get in order to shield yourself from losses effectively.
Your Responsibility as a Small Business Owner
You also have a set of responsibilities in your capacity as the owner of a small business. Notably, you must act as a liaison between the insurer and the injured employee. Specifically, once the employee files a claim, you are required to forward it to the relevant contact at the insurance company. In any case, having a lawyer review each claim is an effective way to ensure that you avoid problems with the insurer and that your employees do not end up disgruntled at the end of the process.
The Importance of Engaging a Lawyer
Many owners of small businesses erroneously believe that they ought to handle legal issues themselves as much as possible because they only have a small team. However, it is often better to enlist the help of an expert who understands the fine print of compensation claims. To this end, it is advisable to have a lawyer on retainer because you can call on them any time an issue arises. The professional will cover your legal bases and ensure that you do not get blindsided by legalese and requirements you were unaware of. Their intervention can help prevent you from suffering massive losses.
The wise approach to handling all legal issues related to workplace injuries is with the help of a workers compensation lawyer. They recognize all potential pitfalls that can hurt business owners and work to minimize losses. For more information, contact a workers compensation lawyer near you.