old dogs

Article Details Evolving Trends in Catastrophic Workers' Compensation Claims

We ran across an article by Insurance Business recently that details some evolving trends in catastrophic workers’ compensation cases.  We took a particular interest in this because while not all of the cases we assist in settling are catastrophic in nature, many of them are, and maintaining a keen understanding of the trends within the workers’ compensation industry helps us to better understand our client’s current approach to settling claims.  

 The article indicates the soft market experienced by the workers’ compensation industry over the last several years may be reversing.  There are a variety of factors that contribute to the current landscape of catastrophic workers’ compensation claims, including injury frequency, escalating costs of medical goods and services, and the advancement of modern medicine and procedures that prolong the life of injured workers.

 In our experience, these types of trends can elevate the status of a workers’ compensation claim from “standard” to “legacy” quick, fast, and in a hurry.  It simply becomes less and less advantageous to settle a claim when projecting the escalating costs of medical needs over one’s lifetime. It is imperative to get out ahead of these claims and implement mitigation strategies to help resolve them once and for all.  We are here to help bridge the settlement gap and assist our clients in tackling these difficult to settle cases in their entirety.

 Again, our thanks to Insurance Business for a very informative article that can be read by clicking here.

Workers' Compensation and Legacy Claim Costs Soar in Santa Monica

The Santa Monica, California City Council presented a report recently indicating that workers’ compensation claims and subsequent additional costs are on the rise.  Claims from public transportation and first responders are the reasons behind the frequency of claims, as well as the severity of the injuries.  City Hall estimates they will spend upwards of $1.7 million more on workers’ compensation claims this year over last year if the trends noted in the first half of fiscal year 2015-16 continue.

According to Risk Manager Deb Hossli, “the City has positioned itself to whether the impact of this on a short-term basis through a combination of increasing departmental contributions to the Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Fund by 30% ($3 million) in FY 2015-16 and maintaining this contribution level into FY 2016-17, and making a one-time $5 million contribution to the Fund in FY 2014-15.”  Hossli went on to state, “Rather, the City needs to continue to vigilantly extract every efficiency and/or dollar savings from existing cost control measures and be open to trying unconventional methods that could take years to yield results.  Consequently, it would be wise for the City to prepare for continued higher workers’ compensation well into the future.”

Of particular note within this report was attention given to workers’ compensation claims that have been open since 1979.  The cost of these claims alone has increased from $23.6 million in 2014 to $27.3 million as of December 31, 2015.  Many of these files are what are referred to as legacy claims, or old dog files.  These claims, while relatively few in number, represent a large percentage of the overall costs to the City’s workers’ compensation program.

Legacy Claim Solutions specializes in resolving these specific types of claims.  Legacy files are a different animal in any workers’ compensation program, and a special approach must be utilized that is often outside of the “normal” approach to setting a traditional workers’ compensation claim.  While this latest news shines the spotlight on Santa Monica, this issue is not unique to them as legacy claims exist in every workers’ compensation program across the country.  While it is impossible to settle every outstanding claim, it would be a wise decision for any self-insured employer, TPA, insurer, and excess carrier to implement a program that is dedicated to specifically addressing these costly legacy files.

Welcome to the Legacy Claim Solutions Blog

Welcome to the redesigned Legacy Claim Solutions website and blog page, and thank you for visiting!  We decided to include this blog page within our website to better allow us to bring you valuable industry updates, and company information.  Our goal is to give you one place to visit to get up to speed on all things related to the workers' compensation settlement community. 

We invite you to sit back, relax, and leave the writing and searching to us.  Enjoy, and thank you again for visiting!