How Common is Worker’s Compensation Fraud in South Carolina

Worker’s compensation is what the employees get when they get injured while they are performing their duties in their course of their employment. Then they are entitled to recover compensation with regard to these injuries.

Workers’ compensation is basically a social benefits program. It is meant to relieve employers of their liability from lawsuits that involve negligence. In return, the employer becomes responsible for other issues that include medical costs, the wages lost for the employee and such other costs that are associated with rehabilitation. Do note that it does not matter here whether the employee was at fault or the employer.

You can ask any South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney about this law. Here, all the injured employees are entitled to receiving all necessary medical treatment in order to lessen their disability. The medical treatments would include surgeries as well as hospitalization. It will also cover medical supplies and any prosthetic devices. Other items included here will be prescriptions along with rehabilitation services.

Do note that injured employees are entitled to compensation that will be at the rate of 66 percent of their average weekly wages. This will be calculated based on their four working quarters just prior to the injury.

Insurance Fraud 

Workers’ compensation can be considered as a security net for all those who get injured while working. Hence it can be considered as a great boon to employees. But unfortunately, there are many people who are looking at the workers’ compensation system as an opportunity for them to collect a paycheck without doing any kind of work. These are people who would fake injuries on the job. Then they would commit fraud on the workers’ compensation funds. As a matter of fact, this workers’ compensation fraud is a big problem today. Hence there are investigations today into any kind of suspicious claims if they become frequent occurrences. Doing past investigations in order to detect workers’ compensation fraud would involve a lot of legwork along with hours of surveillance. These days investigation requires a lot of work online too as social media has become a valuable tool for investigators.

Social media sites are allowing individuals to share a lot of information regarding almost every aspect of their life. This information may be harmless and appear uninteresting to most people. But those who are investigating fraud claims will find every little piece of information valuable. These snippets of information are highly useful while denying claims or looking towards prosecuting someone for fraud. Do note that investigators for insurance fraud will be looking at your social media for photos showing people engaging in those activities that they should not be able to do physically. This would include going to the gym, playing sports, or engaging in some form of exercise that is not related to physical therapy. Hence it would indicate some form of fraudulent activity just to get workers’ compensation.

There may be posts or pictures or videos that depict a person lifting objects or being engaged in some activities that may be prohibited with some specific injuries. There may be some other information or statuses that indicate that a person is doing another job or is looking for employment at other places. There can be other posts to indicate that a person’s condition or injury is not really as severe as is being claimed. Hence the job of a workers’ compensation attorney has changed today. He needs to incorporate this aspect also in his work.

Fraud is morally wrong and illegal too. It can have serious financial as well as legal consequences for anyone who is found to be engaging in it. Hence social media investigations help investigators to fight insurance fraud that are related to workers’ compensation claims. But there is another aspect to it. This information found on social media can have a negative impact even on the innocent parties. This is because the information shared on the internet may not tell the whole story. There can be complications for an innocent claimant for workers’ compensation due to misunderstandings with these social media posts. Hence a status such as you are feeling better may be something entirely different for an investigator. Or else you may be tagged in old photographs and that would not be an accurate snapshot of your condition today. But it may appear to other people of having been shot now.

This is why you need to be careful while filing a workers’ compensation and try to avoid social media while you are in the process and recovering. This will not be an easy task as many of us visit social media websites a number of times each day.  Do note that the consequences for visiting and posting on your social media websites can be much worse than not keeping up with them. You may believe that your information is private and not accessible to all. Still it is better to be safe now than sorry later. Avoid sharing your medical history or anything that pertains to your insurance claim online. Let your friends know that you would not like to be included in their posts, at least for some time.

Do note that Greenville, South Carolina does not tolerate this kind of fraud in order to collect workers’ compensation and constitutes it as a serious crime. People committing insurance fraud leads to everyone’s insurance premium rising, making the entire insurance system more expensive.

In case you are planning to initiate a workers’ compensation claim, you must consult with a lawyer who is familiar with handling workers’ compensation claims. This way you would also come to know the wide range of benefits that you would be entitled to and you are not aware of. Besides, you would come to know about any immediate steps that you need to take in order to protect yourself and your claim. Hence you will be saved from the effort while you will be getting more benefits too!

The Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm can help. Our hard-working team of work injury attorneys and professionals in Greenville are here to answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights. Contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential, and comprehensive case review with an actual attorney.