Work Comp fraud costs companies billions of dollars each year. Sadly, there are great numbers of people out there looking for a free ride. Many of them see an unfortunate workplace injury as a long awaited opportunity for a “come up”. It’s sad, but true.

When a workplace injury occurs, a standard practice is to interview witnesses.  If you are dealing with a fraudulent claimant, however, there will likely be no witnesses to the alleged injury/accident.  So what do you do?  Who do you talk to?  Who else can be considered a witness?

Many other coworkers and supervisors can suffice as witnesses, generating information that could save your company significant revenues.  Talk to employees who witnessed the claimant’s behavior and conversation prior to the alleged accident/injury.  Find out if he/she complained of pain, limped, guarded an arm, etc.  Gather information on how the employee performed his job.  If the claimant’s performance was unusual in any way, for example, you can then begin ascertaining if the injury/accident may have occurred prior to work.

Interview coworkers who witnessed behavior and performance after the alleged incident, as well.  Again, find out how the claimant performed.  Did he/she state an injury occurred?  If so, when, where, etc?  Did the claimant perform his job in a manner indicative of the alleged injury or was it “normal” in the eyes of coworkers and supervisors?  Gathering such data may provide valuable information to assist in the fair and accurate processing of the claim.   Don’t stop your process of gathering witness statements simply because no one “saw” the alleged accident/injury.  Take the necessary further steps to ensure a thorough and complete investigation.

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