anxious moments that could prompt the
employee to contact a plaintiff’s attorney.
Initial recorded statements and the
documentation of the facts should be
reviewed regularly throughout the lifes-pan of a claim. In cases that extend 12-18
months, it is interesting to see how rarely
the adjuster and employer actually listen
to the original recorded statement. They
need to continually refer to the original
statement, paying particular attention to
the direction of the claim from the beginning since it impacts the rest of the case. It
is important to take into account demonstrated risks — things that arise in courts
as the claimant continues treatment and
that are not related to the original injury.
According to Tim Pokorney, senior vice
president of sales for Paradigm Outcomes,
setting a claim on the right trajectory can
improve the chances of controlling costs
and reaching a mutually desired outcome
for both employee and employer. Focus
should be on those claims that lead to the
highest cost and highest risk. Pokorney
said typically, 6 percent of all claims comprise up to 50 percent of the overall costs.
These tend to be complex catastrophic
claims such as brain injuries, spinal column injuries or amputations.
Felicia Snyder, defense attorney with
Snyder Law Offices in Lexington, Ky.,
recommends monitoring activity closely
during recovery. She said it is important
to maintain a good file utilizing tools
such as surveillance and activity checks in
order to control costs. Physical monitoring can be expensive, she added, though
targeted surveillance might show an injured worker going to another job.
Snyder finds social media accounts are
useful in monitoring employees’ activity
during recovery. “First thing I do when I
receive a claim is to look up their Facebook account,” she said. “In a deposition,
an employee can be asked about activities
posted on their Facebook account such
as four-wheeling, bowling or softball.”
Other online tools employers should
consider are hunting license applications.
In Missouri, for example, applications for
hunting licenses are public information
and are free to access. Claims have been
found to increase during hunting season.
Video cameras that can be installed on
a light post on public property are also
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