Workers’ compensation is designed to protect all parties in the event that an injury happens in the workplace. It offers the injured party an opportunity to obtain some financial compensation for their injuries and lost wages during the recovery period. At the same time, it protects employers from being sued at a later date.
For the most part, claims are genuine. However, there are occasions where an employee may be tempted to lie or exaggerate the extent of their injuries. Why would they do this and how can you tell?
When something just doesn’t add up
Inconsistencies in an employee’s version of events may be the first sign that something isn’t right. Sometimes, discrepancies can be obvious. For instance, they may claim at first that they fell and hit their head, and later claim that something fell from a height and struck them. In other scenarios, inconsistencies might be more subtle. Not only do inconsistencies reduce the credibility of an employee’s claim, but they could be a sign of fraudulent activity.
Not seeing a doctor
For a workers’ compensation claim to stand up, your employee will need to see an approved physician. They will be able to assess the extent of the injuries and provide suitable treatment. This is important not only for the health of your employee, but it also gives an indication of how long they will be unfit to work.
Although refusing to see a doctor does not necessarily indicate dishonesty, it could be a warning sign that something is amiss. One of the key objectives of workers’ compensation is to get an employee back to work as soon as possible, and unjustified interference with this is unlawful.
Fraudulent workers’ compensation claims are rare but they still occur frequently enough that you should give them some consideration. As you seek ways to protect your business, remember that you have a host of legal rights at your disposal.