Did you have an employee who recently filed a workers' compensation claim? Are you suspicious that the claim isn't legitimate? Workers' compensation provides important and valuable support for workers who are injured on the job and are unable to work. In most cases, claims are legitimate and the compensation is badly needed. However, there are a few unfortunate cases when an individual tries to game the system and get compensation for a false claim.
For employers, a workers' compensation claim can be costly. They can be even more damaging when the injury is exaggerated or even fake. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to investigate claims and make sure they're valid. Below are three such steps. You may want to work with a workers' compensation defense attorney or investigative team to perform your due diligence.
Accident reconstruction. When your employee files a workers' compensation claim, they'll have to provide a detailed description of what happened and what caused the injury. You and your investigative team can use their description to reconstruct the accident scene and even act out the events. This can be a helpful exercise as you may find out that it was impossible for the accident to have occurred as described. You can then use that information in workers' compensation hearings or to gather more information.
Surveillance. You can use surveillance as a powerful investigative tool in a couple of different ways. One is to use cameras and other surveillance systems on the job site to see footage of the alleged accident. Perhaps it was caught on camera and you can verify the accident just by watching the tape. Or maybe you can see on surveillance that the accident didn't happen at the time or place as described in the filing.
You can also use surveillance to track the employee and verify their injury. For instance, if their alleged injury requires them to use crutches or a wheelchair, you can hire an investigator to track them and see if they're using those devices in public. If not, that could be proof that the injury isn't as severe as they say. While this may seem like an extreme step, it may be necessary if you think the claim is an act of fraud.
Deep background check. You probably performed a low-level background check when you hired your employee. However, if you suspect they are committing workers' compensation fraud, you may want to hire an investigator to do more digging. Often, when a person files a false claim, it isn't their first time doing so. The individual may have a history of filing similar claims at other jobs. Or they may have prior arrests for other scams, like writing bad checks. This won't prove that the claim is fraudulent. However, it could inform your investigation and provide guidance on how to proceed.
Ready to fight a claim that you believe is fake? Contact a workers' compensation defense attorney, such as those at Dawson & Associates, LLC, today. They can analyze the claim and help you develop a strategy.