When Can You Be Accused Of Workers’ Compensation Fraud In Florida?
Under Florida law, most employers are legally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to pay for injured workers’ lost wages and medical expenses.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers an injured employee’s reasonable medical bills and a portion of lost wages associated with work-related injuries and illnesses regardless of fault. However, it is not uncommon for workers to seek compensation for non-existent injuries or illnesses not related to work.
A worker who attempts to cheat the system may be accused of workers’ compensation fraud. If you have been accused of workers’ comp fraud, do not hesitate to contact an attorney to protect your rights.
Our skilled lawyers at Kobal Law are committed to protecting your rights and helping you seek the compensation to which you are entitled if you were injured in an on-the-job accident or developed an occupational disease.
What is Considered Workers’ Compensation Fraud in Florida?
Workers’ compensation fraud occurs when someone – a worker, employer, or the employer’s insurance company – willfully makes a false statement or hides information in an attempt to receive benefits or prevent a worker from receiving benefits to which they are entitled.
As a worker, you may be accused of workers’ compensation fraud if you lie to your employer or insurance company about the existence or severity of your injury.
There are many types of conduct that may constitute workers’ compensation fraud. As an employee, you may be accused of and face penalties for workers’ compensation fraud if you:
- Falsely claim that you are injured or have a work-related illness. Many workers falsely claim that they sustained work-related injuries or developed occupational disease in order to receive money for nothing.
- Exaggerate the severity of a work-related injury. Even if a worker suffered a work-related injury or illness, they might argue that their injury is more severe than it actually is.
- Lie that an injury is related to work. Even if a worker is injured, they may falsely claim that their injury occurred on the job when they were actually injured somewhere else.
- Work despite restrictions. Typically, workers’ compensation doctors place injured employees under certain restrictions. A worker may choose to ignore the restrictions and continue working while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. When this happens, an injured worker can face penalties for workers’ compensation fraud.
Signs of Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation insurance to employers hire special investigators to determine fraud in workers’ comp claims.
An insurance company may pay close attention to your claim if it sees any signs of workers’ compensation fraud, including but not limited to:
- Failure to notify your employer of a workplace accident within a reasonable amount of time
- Missing medical appointments
- Failing to follow a doctor’s orders
- Refusing to receive recommended medical treatment
- Making conflicting or contradictory statements
What Are the Penalties for Workers’ Compensation Fraud in Florida?
If you are facing accusations of workers’ compensation fraud, it is vital to contact a skilled attorney right away. If the employer or insurance company can prove that you committed fraud when pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, you might face serious penalties, including:
- Jail sentence
- An order to pay back what you have received as “compensation” for your work-related injury or illness