“If you ever have anyone fall off the roof, make sure they’re dead. Dmitry Lipinskiy, Roofing Insights founder“
“Or fired before they hit the ground.Josh Cotner, Contractor’s Choice Agency“
All quips aside, both Dmitry and Cotner know how expensive the payouts can be to employees who are severely injured on the job.
Cotner should know.
After landing in the insurance industry after an onsite accident of his own, Cotner is now well-versed on the realities that insurance companies and injured employees face.
He will tell you firsthand, that as a business owner, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- People who become handicapped from a jobsite injury will be paid a settlement between $500,000 and $1 million.
- Ironically, if someone dies on a jobsite, that person’s dependents will be paid only $250,000.
This discrepancy is not only the basis for Dmitry and Cotner’s shared sentiment, but also why workers compensation insurance is so expensive for contractors.
“They need to do some legislative repair for workers comp injuries,”
Cotner says of the current laws that can be detrimental to the bottom line of many contractors.
There are ways for contractors to better protect themselves from hefty payouts before an employee is injured. They can have their employees sign liability waivers, or have them claim 10-99 status as independent contractors before they start working, which will preclude the company from having to claim responsibility for any injuries incurred by a 10-99 employee.
Dmitry and Roofing Insights wisely take these steps, but that doesn’t mean Dmitry is a heartless owner who tries to avoid helping out his employees in times of need.
“For me, I want to be human,”
While this mindset usually works out for Dmitry and his business, sometimes there are employees who try to take advantage of his goodwill gestures.
A while back, Dmitry had a new employee who spent his first day on the job arguing with a neighbor near the jobsite. The very next day, that same employee came back and hurt his foot.
Dmitry felt that the right thing to do was offer the man a severance. After negotiations, the two agreed to settle at $3,000, and the man signed a contract saying he would not ask Dmitry for more money.
Yet a few days later, the same man called Dmitry back and asked for an additional $1,000.
Dmitry refused, and the two went to court.
“I’ve been in court so many times,”
“Never lost a case.”
By doing the right thing, Dmitry knows that when cases go to court, he is extremely likely to come out victorious. His record proves that much.
For Josh Cotner, unfortunately, just a few days ago he received a distressing call from a client.
One of the client’s employees had fallen off a wobbly ladder and died.
One of the ladder legs was bent, and the ladder also did not belong to the company.
In insurance, that’s a HUGE problem.
Among the obvious mistakes made, Cotner’s client could have had his employee sign a liability contract before he hired him, but there was a neglect to do that, and now the client is staring down the barrel of not only an OSHA fine, but also other expenses that his business may not be prepared to handle.
If the client had thrown away the ladder and bought a new one, he would have saved so much money, energy, and ultimately, heartache.
Learn from the unfortunate mishap of Cotner’s client and make sure your team is covered each time they step foot on a jobsite.
Have you ever had a bad experience with workers comp insurance?
Comment below with your story.