Many people are surprised to find out that during the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the California Department of Insurance’s Fraud Division identified more than 5,500 cases of worker’s compensation fraud. Overall, they made more than 250 arrests and referred another 272 cases for prosecution. Overall losses were in excess of $250 million.
In most cases, these fraud charges resulted from a worker applying for benefits and with the help of doctors and other health care providers were fraudulently applying for benefits based on:
• Non-work injuries resulted in a claim
• Non-disclosure of previous injuries resulting in a claim
• Collecting benefits from more than one employer for the same injury
• Working while collecting benefits
• Previous claims filed were not disclosed
• Exaggerating the extent of injuries
While it may be true that there were many cases referred for prosecution, in some cases, the employee may be on the right side of the law and they deserve a competent defense. When you are charged with worker’s compensation fraud, chances are you’re going to be confused and probably angry. Your best bet is to find an attorney who can help you defend against these charges. There are some common defenses for workers compensation fraud charges that include:
• Non-work injuries resulting in a claim – you may have been injured on the job and that created an environment to exacerbate a non-work related injury
• Previous injuries – in order to prove fraud, you must have been aware that you had a prior injury
• Collecting from more than one employer – you may not be aware that both employers cannot be processing the same claim
• Working while collecting benefits – many people are not aware they cannot hold down a job and collect benefits at the same time
• Previous claims – many people forget they have filed claims in the past. This is especially true if it has been a while since a claim was filed
• Exaggeration – you may honestly believe your injuries were more severe than they actually are
Just because you have been charged with workers compensation fraud in Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar, Perris, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Banning, Corona or Riverside does not mean you are guilty. You should contact the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis for assistance with your defense. We'll provide you a free consultation to help you fight against workers compensation fraud charges.