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How Common Is Workers’ Compensation Fraud?

In January 2019, a 57-year-old independent contractor from New Jersey was charged with fraud and theft after faking a slip-and-fall accident.

Surveillance footage shows the man deliberately throwing ice on the floor in the break room, looking around for a moment and then pretending to slip on the ice. He stayed on the floor until someone discovered him and called an ambulance. 

Sadly, the thief in this video has plenty of company. Insurance fraud as a whole costs about $30 billion per year.

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud reports that ¼ of Americans think it’s okay to “pad” an insurance claim, and 10% believe that insurance fraud “doesn’t hurt anyone.” 

What About Workers’ Compensation Fraud Specifically?

Workers’ compensation insurance is intended to help employees who suffer legitimate on-the-job injuries and to help employers avoid costly lawsuits. As such, it’s become an attractive target for scam artists looking to score a quick buck.

  • Workers’ comp fraud accounts for about ¼ of all insurance fraud.
  • About 10% of all workers’ comp claims turn out to be fraudulent upon investigation.
  • Workers’ comp fraud costs an estimated $5 billion per year. To put that in perspective, that’s enough to pay for a 4-year college education for more than 38,000 students!

The average individual employer loses between $700 and $1,000 per year to fraudulent workers’ comp claims. 

What Can Employers Do About Workers’ Comp Fraud?

As with many things, dealing with workers’ comp fraud starts with prevention:

  • When hiring new employees, scrutinize candidates with a prior history of workers’ comp claims.
  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy for any type of fraudulent activity, including false injury claims.
  • Encourage employees to report suspected fraud, and offer protection for whistleblowers.
  • Use security cameras to verify whether reported accidents actually happened as described. 

Finally, thoroughly investigate all claims of workplace accidents, injuries or illness. This will help to root out scam artists while protecting honest employees and your business.

Enlist the help of a licensed professional investigator to make sure you have all of the facts. At Robert Cirtin Investigations, LLC, we use advanced surveillance techniques to verify a claimant’s activities, lifestyle, residence and travels.

If you’ve got a workers’ compensation claim on your hands, contact us right away to get the information you need.

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