When one of your workers is injured on the job, it can be an overwhelming experience. Naturally, your first thought is for the well-being of your employee, and you do everything you can to ensure the worker gets appropriate medical attention. However, your mind may automatically go to the welfare of your business.
Chances are you take every precaution to prevent injuries on the job. An injured worker can be costly to your company’s finances and reputation, so you make sure you provide the proper safety equipment and adequate training for your staff. Therefore, it may be especially frustrating when an employee claims to be injured but is faking an injury to gain workers’ compensation.
How do you know if a worker is faking an injury?
Of course, you will always give the benefit of the doubt to an injured worker. Denying medical attention because you don’t believe the worker’s story is a dangerous precedent. However, if you notice any of these signs, you may want to speak with your insurer:
- Accidents that occur when there are no witnesses
- Injuries that occur just before the end of a Friday shift or on a Monday
- A worker who refuses tests to confirm an injury
- A delay in reporting the accident
- Frequent changes in the employee’s explanation of the accident
- A worker with a history of workers’ comp claims or lawsuits
- Difficulty reaching the worker who is supposedly off work due to an injury
If the employee you suspect of committing fraud also has a history of job dissatisfaction, poor performance or insubordination, he or she may be more likely to attempt to seek compensation for a fake injury.
How fraudulent claims affect your bottom line
With many types of insurance, the lower you are as a risk, the lower your premiums. If you make a lot of claims, the insurance company can see you as a higher risk. It’s the same with workers’ compensation. When one of your workers files a claim, your risk level, also known as an experience rating, changes. Too many claims and your premiums may go up. An employee who seeks workers’ compensation benefits fraudulently places you at risk for higher premiums.
Even if your premiums stay the same, you will certainly have to fill the gap left by the supposedly injured worker. This may mean hiring a temp, giving overtime to other workers or falling behind in productivity.
You have every right to protect your business from fraudulent claims of injury. Seeking advice from an Iowa professional will help you take the best course of action when faced with this dilemma.