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4 mistakes to avoid when an employee files a workers’ compensation claim

When your employee is injured while working, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The New York State (NYS) Workers’ Compensation Board provides in-depth information and resources to help employers learn about their responsibilities and rights. This can help you avoid mistakes that can make a claim costlier.

Here are four mistakes to avoid when your employee files a workers’ compensation claim.

Not showing empathy

You need to take care of your employees at all times. Thus, when a worker is injured, it will be best to empathize with them – ask about the factors that led to the injury and how they feel. You should also guide them on the necessary paperwork and the forms to complete when filing a claim.

An employee should know that you care about their well-being more than the litigation. How you make one feel when they report an injury can determine the direction of the case.


The law prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim. Termination, demotion, intimidation, reduction in pay/hours or denial of promotion/overtime are actions of retaliation that may get you into more trouble.

Not investigating a case

You need to investigate an injury by going to the accident scene to get the facts – consider taking pictures and making diagrams. Further, get statements from witnesses.

Not reporting the claim to the insurer

Once your employee provides you with a detailed report of their injury, explaining the circumstances that led to it, location, date and time, you need to forward it along with the witnesses’ statements to the insurance company, unless you are a self-insured employer.

A workers’ compensation claim can be manageable if you avoid these mistakes. It will also help to know your defense options to protect your rights.      

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