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Accident Curve – Upcoming Workers Comp Risk Factor


The Accident Curve Comes From The Learning Curve

There has been a large amount of recent traffic and buzz on the articles in the blog that covered the Learning Curve or the Accident Curve.  There was an old adage in Risk Management that said “90% of all accidents happen the first time a person uses a tool, machine, etc.”   

Slippery When Wet Accident Curve Car Sign
(c) 123RF

If and when the economy recovers there will be an increase in accidents overall.  I once performed my own research while working with a WC carrier many years ago during the awful Hurricane Hugo.  One surprising statistic was the rate of rebuilding construction accidents in the Charleston, SC area.

I had decided to research if such an accident curve exists or at least a similar type statistic.  The Solomon Curve did not directly relate to Workers Compensation.  The curve does represent a good accident curve even though it involves speed vs. accident rate.

Human error accounts for 90% of all traffic accidents according to this article.  One has to wonder exactly what was the other 10%?

The venerable NCCI does have a great chart they include in most of their presentations.  The chart is on page 42 titled Countrywide Workers Compensation Loss Time Claim Frequency…..  Looking at the 2010 figure, one can see a very sharp increase in the 2010 claim frequency.

Picture Senior Woman Using Whiteboard in Business Meeting Accident Curve Risk Factor

Looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for Unemployment, the unemployment rate did drop from 10.0% to 9.3% over that year which may account for the matching time period on the NCCI chart.  A  .7% drop in unemployment could have contributed to the rise in accident rates.

I will publish a new article when I can find more relevant statistics – if they do exist.

Also Read: Combined Ratio Difference Debate – Calendar vs. Accident Year 

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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