While it is true that the majority of Workers Comp claims are legitimate, fraud does occur in a small percentage of cases. Employees may be guilty of faking injuries in order to obtain workers comp benefits or to get paid time off from work. Although it is not simple to determine whether a claim is fraudulent or not, there are certain situations that employers consider if they are deciding whether to challenge a workers comp claim submitted by an employee. Our Rogers workers comp lawyer will explain some of the situations of which you should be aware.
Conduct that appears to be workers comp fraud
Any of the following actions or situations alone do not necessarily prove that someone is attempting to commit workers comp fraud. However, if several of these situations exist a presumption of fraud might be made and an employer may be more likely to challenge your claim for workers comp benefits. If you believe any of these situations apply to you, speak to our Rogers Workers Comp lawyer to determine your rights. It goes without saying that, when an employee acts suspiciously in some way, either before or after filing a workers comp claim, the employer will certainly consider challenging the claim. What is considered suspicion will depend on the circumstances.
The timing of the reported injuries
In cases where an injury is reported to have occurred either at the end of the day on Friday or on the following Monday, many employers believe there is a possibility that the injury actually occurred over the weekend and, therefore, was not work-related. In that situation, it is important to be able to prove exactly when the injury occurred and establish that it occurred while in the course of work-related activities. Another situation that is often suspect is when an employee does not report an injury until after a significant period of time has gone by.
Difficulty in proving the injury
When there are no witnesses to your injury, there is an inherent issue lack of evidence. Most employers will consider the lack of any witnesses as a sign of fraud, particularly when the employee normally performs those activities in the presence of co-workers, but was alone at the time the injury occurred. Another obvious problem arises when the statement regarding how the injury occurred changes. It is imperative that you are very clear and specific about what happened and that your explanation does not change from one day to the next.
Actions that seem to establish a different motive
When employees file workers comp claims after making other work-related complaints or having disciplinary issues at work, employers tend to believe the workers comp complaint was made simply because the employee was dissatisfied with either his position or his pay. For some employers, these employees are only filing workers comp claims to seek money they do not deserve. If you have workplace issues but need to file a workers comp claim, speak to our Rogers Workers Comp lawyer before you file your claim.
Be sure to report your injury within the time required
One mistake you can make when it comes to workers comp claims is confusing the need to report your injury with actually filing a worker’s comp claim. If you fail to report your injury or delay in reporting your injury, you may be abandoning your claim. Under Arkansas workers compensation law, you are required to report your on-the-job injury within 30 days of its occurrence.
Your notice should be in writing and should include the date, time and place of your injury. The notice typically needs to be delivered to your supervisor or another appropriate officer of your employer. Your notice should also describe the nature and severity of the injury. Keep in mind that failure to report your work-related injury within that 30-day period could result in losing your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.
You must timely file your worker’s compensation claim
Once again, reporting your injury to your employer is not the same as filing a workers’ compensation claim. Generally speaking, a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within 2 years of the date of the injury. There are a few exceptions where that deadline can be extended. However, it is never wise to delay filing your claim because you risk waiving your right to benefits. Regardless, if you were treated for a work-related injury within the last three years and you have not yet received a lump sum settlement, then you should seek the advice of a Rogers Workers Comp lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your rights.
If you have questions regarding workers comp or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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