6 Consequences of Collecting Workers’ Compensation You Aren’t Eligible For And Filing a Fraudulent Claim

BY: Koszdin | Thursday, January 18, 2018.

It’s not unheard of when employees in Los Angeles and all across California file a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim and obtain workers’ comp and hope to get away with it.

Some do, others don’t. Today, our best workers comp attorneys in Los Angeles at Koszdin, Fields & Sherry are going to outline nine consequences of getting workers’ compensation you aren’t eligible for – to give you a compelling reason to think twice before trying to illegally collect money from your employer.

How common are workers’ compensation frauds?

The benefits provided in a workers’ compensation claim include medical bills, compensation for permanent injuries, rehabilitation benefits, travel expenses, lost wages and lost capability, and many other benefits…

On top of that, you can recover workers’ comp without having to prove that the workplace accident or injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or fault, since Los Angeles and the rest of California review workers’ comp claims under a no-fault system.

These two factors – rich benefits and being able to obtain compensation regardless of who was at fault – prompt many employees to file a false workers’ compensation claim and obtain the benefits they aren’t eligible for.
By doing so, you risk facing both civil and criminal consequences, our Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyers warn.

Employee-facing felony theft charges for collecting over $90k in workers’ comp benefits

It was reported earlier this week that a man was being prosecuted for one count of first-degree theft for allegedly collecting over $90,000 in workers’ compensation benefits he wasn’t eligible to obtain.

The man, William T. Crawley from Seattle, is facing felony theft charges after an investigation discovered that he had been working while continuing to receive workers’ comp benefits.

Crawley, who sustained on-the-job injuries while working as a bar manager, started receiving workers’ compensation benefits, including wage replacement payments and vocational rehabilitation benefits, back in 2007.

At the time, the employer warned the injured employee against cashing his wage replacement checks when he returns to work. An investigation later found that Crawley had worked as a full-time employee in four restaurants from 2013 to 2016, all while continuing to collect wage replacement payments and vocational rehabilitation benefits from his former employer.

Intentionally or not, Crawley failed to disclose his employment to his employer and continued cashing his wage replacement checks despite working full time at other companies.

Civil consequences for workers’ compensation fraud

Our Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorneys warn: if you are charged with workers’ compensation fraud, you may be facing the following civil consequences:

  • A civil fine ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 for each false workers’ comp claim
  • A civil fine of up to three times the amount of the medical treatment bills paid by the insurance company
  • A criminal conviction for this type of fraud may get you in even more legal trouble: paying up to $4,000 more for each fraudulent workers’ compensation claim in your civil lawsuit.

Criminal consequences for collecting workers’ comp you aren’t eligible for

Under workers’ compensation California laws, you’re facing the following penalties if found guilty of violating the False and Fraudulent Claims Act. Penalties for a misdemeanor or felony conviction for workers’ comp fraud include:

  • Up to one year in county prison for a misdemeanor, or from two to five years in California state jail for felony
  • A fine of $150,000 or two times the amount of your false workers’ comp claim
  • Restoration of the funds stolen from the employer and the insurance companies involved in your fraud.

What to do if you’re accused of workers’ compensation fraud?

Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer should be your first line of defense to avoid or reduce civil or criminal consequences for collecting workers’ comp you weren’t eligible for.

It’s vital to get a free consultation from an experienced attorney immediately in order to achieve a positive outcome of your case. It doesn’t matter if you are or aren’t guilty of committing workers’ compensation fraud in Los Angeles, our lawyers are here to help you.

Here at Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, our best workers’ comp attorneys in Los Angeles will represent you in your best interest to help you avoid or reduce the potential civil or criminal consequences in your case.

Call our attorneys to get a free consultation as soon as possible at 818-812-5639 or  800-747-3447 or complete this contact form.

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