False Worker's Compensation Claims: How HR Can Handle It (Guest Blog)by
When an employee gets injured at work, they have a right to file a claim for workers’ compensation. However, some employees may attempt to receive compensation even when they are undeserving of it. Fraudulent workers’ compensation charges can be both expensive and annoying for companies that need to deal with them.
There are a few steps companies can take to avoid a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim. Here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself.
1. Make your work space safe.
Some of the most common injuries in the workplace can be easily avoided if you just focus on maintain safety. Whether you operate in an office, out on the field, or even in a commercial area, you need to do all you can to ensure that the area is as safe as possible for your employees.
Check that you are meeting all the safety codes and standards. Comply with your city standards and have regular meetings with a building inspector. To guarantee day-to-day safety in the workplace, check that the floors are clean and clear, that there are not items employees may trip over, and make any necessary repairs as quickly as possible.
When you ensure that your workplace is safe, you can avoid false workers’ compensation claims and genuine workers’ compensation as well.
2. Get some additional perspectives.
If someone files a workers compensation claim, they will need to have witnesses explaining what happened and how the individual was hurt. While we like to believe our employees are trustworthy, it isn’t that out of line to think that employees may work together to commit fraud.
Listen to each individual’s perspective of what happened. If there were other employees around that may be able to say whether or not something truly happened, be sure to ask for their story.
On the chance that there weren’t other witnesses, you may want to get the opinion of a medical professional. If the injuries are not consistent with the event the employee is claiming, you may be able to prove that they weren’t actually injured in the workplace.
3. Require physical examinations for employees.
Preventing workers compensation abuse can be difficult if the individual was injured on the job and fulfilling their duties. However, an individual may knowingly take a position that requires them to perform activities they are not healthy enough to perform.
If your employees will need to lift heavy objects or engage in physical activities while in the workplace, you should require that they get a physical examination before they are hired. You may also want to continue that requirement for employees as well.
When you are aware of underlying conditions, you can help avoid injury in your employees. Additionally, if the condition is documented before the accident happens, you may not need to pay the workers’ compensation claim. The additional step of requiring a physical could save your company money and its reputation in the long run.
4. Stay up to date with the laws.
If you are worried about fraud compensation, the best thing you can do is stay updated on what you owe legally. By understanding worker compensation laws and when it is required for you to pay, you will be able to worry less about paying a fraudulent claim.
Keep yourself updated on the laws in your area. These laws may change from time to time, so stay alert for news of laws that may have changed or may be changing in the future. Don’t believe that just because a claim is filed that you need to follow through and pay it.
If you need additional help determining what your legally responsibility is, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer. While attorneys typically work with the injured individuals, they can still provide you with guidance and insight on your legal responsibility as an employer.
5. Know what red flags to look for.
To completely avoid false workers’ compensation claims, you need to know what to look out for. Because you don’t want to accuse all employees of filing a false claim if an injury is legitimate, you need to understand some key consistencies in false claims.
First, take a look at when the claim was filed. If it came after a weekend or a vacation, there is a possibility they were injured during their time off. Another red flag may be in individuals who file the claim after they have already healed.
Take some time to talk with the employee who is filing the claim and develop a better understanding of the event that lead to the injury and why they chose to file. While you shouldn’t assume the worst in your employees, you can keep your eyes and ears open to discrepancies, red flags, or things that just don’t seem right.
Workers compensation can be wonderful insurance for your business and your employees when used appropriately. However, false claims can damage your business and create poor relationships with your employees. If you want to avoid paying for false claims, you need to do all that you can to avoid them.
With a safe environment for all employees, an understanding of what your legal responsibility is, and an awareness of the red flags that may appear, you can protect your company from false workers’ compensation claims.
Sarah Smith is a small business owner and a freelance writer. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books. My twitter.