What is a “Workers’ Comp Scam?”
A workers’ compensation scam, sometimes known as a workers’ comp scam, is a ploy by a dishonest individual to receive money from his or her employer’s workers’ compensation provider without having suffered an injury. Workers’ compensation scams in New York recently become a topic of media focus when a former Verizon employee from Staten Island pleaded guilty to stealing more than $37,000 in workers’ compensation benefits through such a scam in late 2016. Despite claiming to be disabled and unable to work after suffering an injury in 2007, he was discovered to have been teaching kickboxing classes from 2012 to 2014. Using video surveillance from the school where he taught kickboxing and other martial arts, he was charged with petit larceny. After pleading guilty, he agreed to pay back what he had taken in restitution and forfeit his right to receive Workers’ Compensation for life.
As working Americans, we all pay into our employers’ workers’ compensation policies. When an individual steals money meant for injured workers, all parties suffer.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Scam Hurt an Employer and its Employees?
You might be wondering, “how does workers’ comp work in NY?” Basically, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides injured workers with cash benefits to cover their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages after they are injured in workplace accidents. In New York, workers’ compensation claims are overseen and governed by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
When an individual commits workers’ compensation fraud, he or she can face criminal charges. Parties that comply with the scam, such as the individual’s employer or a physician, can also face charges. Honest employees from employers complicit in workers’ compensation scams can be unfairly accused of fraud if they file claims of their own. Companies can also face higher premiums, pushing business costs higher if they are found guilty of workers’ compensation scams.
Ways you Can Avoid Having your Workers’ Compensation Claim Labeled a “Scam”
If your workers’ compensation claim is rejected or accused of being falsified or exaggerated, you need to provide additional evidence to prove that you are being truthful. Ask your colleagues who witnessed your accident to provide their testimonies to support your claim and make use of any other available evidence, such as photographs and video surveillance, that shows the accident and your resulting injury.
Your doctor can support your claim of being too disabled to work. His or her commentary about the injury and its prognosis are important pieces of your workers’ compensation claim. In all cases, the more information you can provide about your accident and injury, the better your chance of receiving the compensation you need.
Work with an Experienced New York City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have been injured in a workplace accident and you are now pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, work with a New York workers’ compensation lawyer who can advocate for you and help you receive the money you deserve. Contact The Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Office today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.