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The effect of workers’ compensation claims on your employer

A mental barrier many employees face when injured on the job is whether or not a workers’ compensation claim is going to hurt their employer. Especially for those who work for small businesses and mom-and-pop shops, there is a fear that one workers’ compensation claim could kill the company.

Fortunately, this is not the case – at least not in Colorado. All public and private employers in the Centennial State are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage if they have one or more full- or part-time employees. There are limited exceptions to this rule, so even if you are the only employee putting in 15 hours a week at a mom-and-pop shop, your employer likely has insurance.

This means that if you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are filing it against the insurance provider – not the employer itself. Any financial impact of the claim will be felt by the insurer. There is the possibility that your employer may take a small financial hit in the form of increased insurance premiums, but those are not likely to be large enough to wipe out the business.

Employees who are concerned about the impact a workers’ compensation claim could have on a business should consider how expensive not filing a claim could be. If you wait too long to file a claim, it can hinder your recovery and keep you from work for a longer period of time down the road.

If your injury goes untreated for too long and causes you to leave your job, the cost of replacing you is about six to nine months of your annual salary or 16 to 20 percent of your annual salary, depending on your wage and job title.

The main concern you should have if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim is taking the time you need to heal up and get back to work as soon as possible. That is the most valuable thing for you and your employer.

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