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Increased workers' compensation fraud in Los Angeles

Working as a police officer or firefighter in Los Angeles can place a person at a higher risk for work related injury. The generous benefits provided when a person is placed on leave may contribute to an overwhelming number of potential workers' compensation fraud that may exist among public servants. An employer that suspects workers' compensation fraud may question the validity of an injury and begin an investigation.

A study found that public employees that work in safety have experienced an increase in salary, leave time for work injury and the length of time required for leave. In the past year a total of 19 percent of public servant employees in Los Angeles were placed on temporary leave for a work related injury. Reports suggest that many of the hurt employees would file claims for a new injury just as their leave was expiring.

A middle aged Los Angeles firefighter experienced trauma to his head and back at the beginning of his career as a firefighter after being involved in the collapse of two different buildings. He was placed on leave for work related injuries a total of 18 times in his decade long career. Records note that his supervisor had suspicions following certain injury claims, and investigators began to look into the situation.

When a hurt safety employee in Los Angeles is placed on leave, they receive their pay and benefits tax free. Some professionals believe this entices a greater desire for abuse among potentially work-injured employees. Workers' compensation fraud among public employees can be damaging to the city and cost tax payers financially. An official that suspects dishonesty may seek help pursuing justice against the person that made potentially fraudulent claims. 

Source: Los Angeles Times, "L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter injury claims rise", Jack Dolan, Sept. 28, 2014

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