1. As of October, 2008, attorney’s fees in workers’ compensation cases will be calculated based on the amount of hours spent by the attorney obtaining a benefit for the injured worker, rather than a percentage of the benefit obtained.
2. To reduce exposure for workers’ compensation claims, the employer should opt out of managed care and have transitional sedentary, light and medium duty jobs for injured workers.
3. In general, injuries sustained by an employee traveling to or from work are not covered. However, if the employee is traveling out of town for work, injuries sustained on the way to or from the work event are probably covered, unless the employee “substantially deviated” from his/her employment at the time of the accident.
4. If an employee is seriously injured or killed on the job, he or she might not be limited to a workers’ compensation claim. If the employer engaged in behavior that was virtually certain to result in injury or death to the worker, then the employee or his/her estate may qualify to sue the employer for gross negligence in tort.
5. An employer may be fined for improperly classifying workers as independent contractors. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors carries a penalty of $2,500 for the first two misclassified employees and $5,000 for each misclassified employee above three.