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“Injured worker” videotaped playing golf

While work-related injury reports are generally legitimate, occasionally employees will attempt to take advantage of benefits they do not deserve. Injuries in such incidents may be exaggerated or unrelated to job-related tasks.

One particular example occurring at a car dealership sticks out. An employee claimed injuries after a vehicle struck him while he was on the job. It appears his injuries were not too severe, however. The worker apparently missed a doctor’s appointment and a video showed him playing golf without any signs of injury. Both a physical therapist and orthopedic doctor who treated the employee stated his activities were not consistent with the kinds of injuries he claimed.

This employee later pleaded guilty to two felonies involving workers’ compensation fraud. He is required to pay back $7,000 in restitution and offered a five-year deferred sentence. Though he likely suffered injuries in the incident, he reportedly attempted to deceive others regarding the severity of his injuries.

Attorneys representing employers in such matters have the resources to investigate these claims and find out how work-related accidents occur. They provide advice to employers on determining what are or are not genuine claims.

Discovering the truth is important anytime work-related injury claims arise. We designed the workers’ compensation system to help and protect individuals truly injured on the job. When we know how exactly an accident occurred, employers can take steps to prevent the same thing from occurring in the future.

Unfortunately, the behavior of this worker casts suspicion on even legitimate workers’ claims and costs everyone money in unneeded litigation. Also, employers who really care about the welfare of their workers suffer harm by paying money for an employee who was uninjured or not as injured as was claimed.

Source: Watchdog.org, “Struck by Fraud,” Larry Benson, April 6, 2015

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