Workers compensation payouts have exploded by 26 percent since 2007
Over the last five years, the total amount of money received by injured employees in Oklahoma is way up.
According to a Tulsa World review based on the cases that reached the Workers Compensation Court in Oklahoma over the last five years, the total amount of money that has been received by injured employees has skyrocketed by 26 percent.
This has been a costly increase to employees and insurance companies during this time.
The analysis showed that today’s employers and workers compensation insurance companies have had to pay out approximately $76.6 million more than they were paying in 2007 for this purpose.
There has yet to be any complete understanding of the cause of this costly increase in workers compensation.
There have been many different theories that have arisen to explain the reason that workers compensation has become so expensive in Oklahoma. Depending on the opinion being voiced, the blame could be directed at employers themselves, judges, lawmakers, attorneys, insurance companies, or even the skyrocketing cost of medical care.
Some have even pointed the finger at the injured employees themselves, and say that the workers compensation system as a whole is broken. Critics that have voiced this opinion have said that many of the employees who file these claims are faking an injury in order to be able to remain home while they continue to collect a tidy income.
Over the last three years, the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General filed approximately 60 cases against employees who they believed had defrauded the workers compensation system. According to official records, this is much lower than 1 percent of all the cases that had been filed with the court by employees during that time.
The Workers Compensation Court system in the state is responsible for handling only a small number of the total claims that are processed in Oklahoma. Approximately two out of every 10 claims will see that court. These are typically the most expensive and serious cases. The remainder are handled privately between the employers and their employees. The statistics represent only the cases that have been presented before the state court.