How Smartphones Are Boosting Workers’ Compensation Claims
We all know that cell phones are very popular and have evolved significantly over the years. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans with smartphones has more than doubled since the Center’s initial survey in 2011 which identified just 35 percent of Americans as smartphone users. These days, a whopping 77 percent of Americans self-identify as having a smartphone. This increase in smartphone use has an affect on many aspects of our day-to-day lives, including workers’ compensation claims.
Generally, workers’ compensation claims have been on a decreasing trend and actually decreased by over 17 percent nationwide between 2011 and 2016. However, results of a recent study published by the National Council on Compensation Insurance suggest that there is a different statistic that has, unfortunately, been increasing – the number of motor vehicle accidents. The study revealed over 40 percent of workers’ compensation claims involving a fatality during the past five years were the result of a motor vehicle accident.
As these kinds of injuries have increased concurrently with smartphone usage, smartphones are being deemed responsible for the boost in this kind of workers’ compensation claim.
Why is This Increasing Statistic Concerning For Those Who Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation claims involving a motor vehicle accident are between 80 and 100 percent more costly than the average claim because the kinds of injuries that occur as a result tend to be serious. In order for the insurance company to pay you, your employer has to pay premiums on its insurance policy. One of the main factors used in calculating premiums is the type, and cost, of your employer’s prior workers’ compensation payouts. And if your employer’s rates increase, he or she may try to recoup some of this additional expense from a source you may not have considered – you. Everything from the amount you are paid to whether you will receive a promotion and pay raise in the future may be affected by the amount of your employer’s premium.
What Kinds of Workers Have the Highest Risks?
As the amount of risk rises concurrently with the amount of time a worker spends in a vehicle, anyone whose job includes travel within their duties has a higher risk of incurring a work-related injury in a motor vehicle. Examples of these jobs include traveling salesmen, truck drivers, chauffeurs, and delivery men.
Does Every Motor Vehicle Accident Qualify For Workers’ Compensation?
Not necessarily. This is one of the gray areas of workers’ compensation. Whether you can obtain benefits for injuries you obtained during a motor vehicle accident will turn on factors such as whether you were clocked in, whether you were operating a car owned by your employer, and whether the travel was within the scope of your duties. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your injury and advise you of how to proceed.
Have You Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident While You Were Working?
The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to and can help you fight while you focus on recovery. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a consultation.