How the Economy Impacts Workers’ Compensation Claims

Employment in the United States continues to grow at a steady clip.

The most recent job statistics show over 300,000 jobs have been created in the U.S. during January 2019.

However, the Federal Reserve Bank has recently raised interest rates in an attempt to cool down the hypercharged job market.

In the wake of a campaign of interest rate hikes, the question remains: what impact will it have on the U.S. job market?

Changes in Job Market Affect the Amount of Injury Claims

A changing job market can increase or decrease the number of work-related injuries. The overall economy can have an impact on the number of workers’ compensation claims.

This is felt both in the number of people working as well as the type of work that people are doing.

At the same time, rising employment numbers in the U.S. also lead to an increasing number of workplace injuries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal workplace falls have increased nearly 26 percent from 2011 to 2016.

The increase coincides with a rebound in the U.S. employment picture and surging job creation.

Some of this can be expected since higher employment inherently creates more situations in which workers can get hurt on the job.

This will mean that there are more construction projects since the economy is in the midst of a period of prolonged growth.

It can be expected that if growth slows down in the economy, that workplace injury would decrease given that there is less employment overall.

The business cycle has a definite impact on workers’ compensation claims. These claims typically decline in a recession.

There are several reasons for this.

A Recession Means Layoffs

When recessions happen, businesses tend to keep their best and most experienced workers. These are the ones who are the least likely have any accidents on the job or sustain any injuries.

A Recession May Decrease Claims But Also Means More Claim Appeals

There is a reason why the insurance business never feels the brunt of a recession – not like other companies that are.

Since it’s the law for most if not all companies to hold insurance, insurance companies always have a guaranteed stream of cash coming in.

Then there is the fact that insurance companies fight tooth and nail in order to get out of paying out on a claim, no matter if the case appears pretty cut and dry.

During a recession, you can bet your bottom dollar most companies will also fight harder against employee injury claims since such cases can affect them in several ways.

Furthermore, even though insurance companies have guaranteed money coming in thanks to federal laws, they do lose some income when companies are folding and thus no longer a paying client.

These factors mean both the defendant and the insurance company will do all in their power to either beat the injury claim case or file as many appeals as they can until they’re exhausted.

According to Jason Mills of Jason D. Mills & Associates, “When an injured worker wins an appeal for a denied claim with a hearing officer, an employer or insurer may file an additional appeal or motion of stay that impacts benefit payments.”

A Good Economy Means Deadlines

When economic times are booming, businesses are more likely to be in a rush to complete the job to meet customer demands or to be able to move onto the next job that is waiting for them.

A rush means that employees are either working longer hours or are otherwise taking measures to increase speed. Sometimes, this comes at the expense of safety.