How to avoid the appearance of workers’ compensation fraud
It’s estimated that, at most, only two percent of all workers’ compensation claims involve some kind of fraud.
However, insurance companies often view every claim as if it is potentially suspicious. Workers can protect themselves from unnecessary scrutiny by knowing the signs that insurance investigators believe indicate fraud and knowing what to do instead.
1. Report your injury immediately.
A delayed injury report is one of the top signs of fraud, so make sure that you report every injury promptly, even if you don’t intend to file a claim.
2. Never wait until Monday to report an injury from Friday.
If your supervisor or boss left for the weekend before you were injured, don’t wait until Monday to report your accident. That makes insurance companies believe you’re trying to claim compensation for injuries that occurred over the weekend. If you have no other option, leave a message about your injury on the boss’s answering machine or send an email.
3. Go for any necessary exams.
You may not think that there’s much value in an MRI or an x-ray if you’ve simply pulled your back, but you should go through the testing anyhow. Otherwise, the insurance company is apt to think that you’re faking your injury and don’t want anyone to find out. Many test results come back without anything remarkable on them, even though a worker is truly injured.
4. Don’t talk about your claim to co-workers.
Gossip is your enemy when it comes to workers’ compensation. Other workers may repeat half-truths and misheard information, and stories may reach your boss that don’t reflect the reality of your situation.
5. Write down the details of your accident.
Memories fade very quickly, so make sure that you write down the details surrounding your accident as soon as possible. Your notes will help you remember what happened and keep the insurance company from twisting information around.
No matter what, remember that you have nothing to be concerned about if you haven’t done anything wrong. Sometimes an insurance company will simply be suspicious of a claim despite your best efforts. If that happens, don’t let it trouble you. Talk to a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your rights if the insurance company seems like it is becoming troublesome and you’re having difficulty getting the benefits you deserve.