Workers’ comp legal defense expenses are increasing at an alarming rate. Allocated costs—mostly attorney payments—increased 7.3% in 2013, according to the California Workers’ Compensation—Aon Advisory Bulletin (July 2014). Overzealous defense counsel and untrained adjusters can prolong litigation, increase costs and wreak havoc on the lives of injured workers. However, risk managers can more closely manage this process.

Basic steps include having a litigation plan, including a strategy and budget when a claim is referred to counsel, and auditing all claim files regularly to ensure claim account instructions and best practices are complied with.

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