Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Morning Payoff - Lying About How The Injury Happened

Workers compensation fraud is quite common, and most often deals with injuries that did not necessarily occur while the claimant was at work.  In some cases, a person is injured on a weekend or during a vacation, and they wait until they are back on the job to report the injury and make up a story that they were injured while at work. 

Why would someone make up such a story?  If a person has a valid personal health insurance policy, that policy would normally cover their medical bills if they were injured at home or while not working, but sometimes health insurance coverage involves costly copays or deductibles.  Often uninsured people will use this as a means to have their medical costs covered.

Another major component that drives this behavior is the wage component of workers compensation.  If someone is injured at while on the job, workers compensation pays not only their medical bills but their lost wages as well.

A recent case of a police officer in Maryville, MO involved this type of fraud.  On December 20, 2012, Richard A Turner was charged with two counts of theft as well as a violation of the Workers Compensation Act.  The charges arose from an investigation that determined that his injuries sustained in 2009 did not happen on the job as he had asserted in his workers compensation claim.  He was paid $38,000 in lost wages for the bogus claim and the insurance coverage paid an additional $150,000 in medical bills.

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