Although most work injury claims are legitimate, there are a few cases where an employee will completely fake an injury and a few others who will exaggerate the extent of their injuries in order to collect more in workers’ comp benefits.
False or exaggerated claims can be burdensome for businesses. From an injured worker’s perspective, fraudulent claims by others can lead to legitimate claims not being fully paid out or otherwise being held up.
To combat problems with workers’ comp fraud, many employers are turning to surveillance cameras.
Chuck E. Chesses restaurants is one company who installed cameras at all of its 510 stores in 2009 and 2010. Commenting on the policy at the California Workers Compensation Risk Conference, CEC Entertainment, Inc. director of risk management Jeff Strege claims the cameras have been extremely valuable in reducing the number of fraudulent workers’ comp claims.
“We’ve made a number of claims literally vanish once we produce the video footage to show what the claimant says, whether it’s an employee or guest…didn’t really happen,” comments Strege.
While many experts agree that surveillance cameras can serve to deter fraudulent claims, there are privacy laws that employers have to be mindful of. These laws dictate the circumstances under which employees and guests can be filmed, and often times require a sign be posted informing people of the surveillance.
If an employer or business owner fails to consider these privacy laws, they could be in trouble and any footage they do have would be considered inadmissible in a claim.
As a firm representing injured workers in Colorado, we certainly understand the concerns employers have for fraudulent claims. Every worker we represent has a solid claim and is simply seeking the medical treatment and compensation for lost wages they require. We strongly urge injured workers remain mindful of what they post on social media, as well as any observations on the part of their employer’s insurance company.
Many workers’ comp claims have been thrown out when the defense produced footage or social media posts of the injured worker running, or doing some other task that would be very difficult or impossible with a bad injury.
Of course, video surveillance can be misused by an employer to deny payment to legitimate workers’ comp claims.
If you have a legitimate claim, it’s best to go ahead and enlist the help of a Colorado workers’ comp attorney to help ensure you obtain all of the benefits afforded to you under the law. Most employers want to honor legitimate injuries, but when negotiating with the workers’ comp insurer, many workers without representation end up being pushed into a deal that doesn’t fully pay their medical bills and compensate them for lost wages.
Don’t accept a deal for the sake of expediency – have a workers’ comp attorney present to ensure you receive all of the benefits afforded to you under the law.