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California workers' compensation fraud -- an overview

Workers' compensation fraud can cause damage to a business and place the owner in a difficult position, both financially and professionally. Some people may question what led their current or former employee to abuse available benefits for personal gain. The decision for an employee to commit workers' compensation fraud in California may stem from being disgruntled at the company or from someone trying to take advantage of a particular situation.

A recent report detailed the most common forms of fraudulent claims that are made in an attempt to collect workers' compensation. Some may be filed after an employee suffers a personal injury while away from work, in an attempt to use company benefits to cover medical or treatment expenses. Employers may investigate the situation and reference witnesses in an attempt to document the truth and expose dishonesty.

Other situations may include an employee who was hurt in a workplace accident and made the decision to continue to claim injury after he or she healed. This may be seen through ongoing false claims of pain or disability and the extended request of paid time away from work. The extended drain on insurance benefits can have a direct affect on the cost of insurance premiums a company is required to fulfill under the law.

Claiming an injury that did not occur while working or fabricating the length or duration of a legitimate accident in an attempt to collect benefits can both be considered false. A California employer that suspects workers' compensation fraud may question their rights and wonder about the proper steps to take. Many benefit by seeking professional help to navigate the legal process, expose any abuse and protect important business and personal interests.

Source: propertycasualty360.com, "Here are the 3 most common types of workers' comp fraud, and how to prevent them", Gary Jennings, Nov. 11, 2014

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