Subrogation Training Video

This 5-minute training video is intended to guide employees, supervisors and managers, in their responsibilities following a work-related injury in which their is (or may be) third-party liability. This training is one element of the Midwestern’s Best Practices Standard for combatting dog bites in the parcel delivery industry. However, the benefits of training employees, supervisors and managers about their role in subrogation recovery extends well beyond dog bite incidents alone.

Subrogation refers to a workers’ compensation insurance company’s right to recover money paid on a workers’ compensation claim from a third-party (or their insurance company) when the injury was caused by the actions or negligence of that third-party. In this context, the term third-party refers to someone other than the injured employee or their employer.

One important thing to remember is that workers’ compensation is considered “primary” insurance for any work-related injury or illness that that is compensable. That means that regardless of who is at-fault for a work-related injury, the workers’ compensation insurance company must pay for the claim. However, subrogation allows the workers’ compensation insurance company to seek reimbursement from a third-party when that third-party caused or contributed to the incident.

So that begs the question, why should you care if the workers’ compensation insurance company gets reimbursed, as long as the claim gets paid? The answer is simple. You should want your workers’ compensation insurance carrier to recover as much as possible from at-fault parties through subrogation because your company’s insurance premiums are influenced by the cost of the claims.

Midwestern Insurance Alliance has a subrogation recovery team with an excellent track-record of recovering from at-fault third parties. However, it is a team effort. Our subrogation recovery team relies on employers doing their part to make them successful. For that reason, it is important that all employees know what is expected of them if they are injured at work and there might be third-party liability for their injury.

Regardless of whether it is a dog bite, a motor vehicle accident, or a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you can greatly improve the likelihood of subrogation recovery if they do 5 simple things.

  1. Notify
  2. Document
  3. Photograph
  4. Report
  5. Seek Treatment

To illustrate these 5 things, let’s consider what you should do if bitten by a dog while making a delivery.

  1. NOTIFY the owner of the dog or the homeowner where the incident occurred if they are home and get the name and phone number of the person that you notified.
  2. DOCUMENT the address where the incident occurred, the name on the package being delivered, the name and phone number of the person that you notified, and the name and phone number of any witnesses that saw what happened.
  3. PHOTOGRAPH the delivery location, the injury and even the dog if it can be done safely.
  4. REPORT the incent to a supervisor immediately, before driving away – providing the supervisor with the name and contact information of the dog-owner or homeowner that you notified, the delivery address, and the photos that you took onsite.
  5. SEEK TREATMENT – If the dog bite draws blood or causes severe damage, contact Animal Control or the local police immediately and seek medical treatment.

Information needed for successful subrogation is more difficult to obtain with time. If at all possible, remain at the location of the incident until you get the information discussed in this video, and report the incident to your supervisor while you are still at the location where you were injured.

Managers and supervisors, keep in mind that being injured on the job can be a traumatic event for employees and they may not be in a state of mind to remember these 5 steps, or even to consider whether there may be third-party liability for their injury. For that reason, it is important that with each injury reported that you…

  • Ask questions that help assess whether there might be subrogation potential.
  • Remind the employee to follow these 5 steps every time there is subrogation potential.
  • Solicit documentation and photos from the employee that will aid in subrogation recovery.
  • Provide Midwestern Insurance Alliance with the names, addresses, photos, and other information as quickly as possible – ideally at the same time that the incident is reported.