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Los Angeles Employer Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workers' compensation fraud at California bank

When an employer is taken advantage of through workers' compensation fraud, both the company and its insurer can suffer financial damages. Some professionals may choose to begin the process to reveal the theft and attempt to regain the monetary loss. A woman formerly employed at a local California bank has been accused of workers' compensation fraud after being involved in the robbery that purportedly caused the false mental injury.

The incident occurred when the accused woman helped organize a heist that included armed robbery of her place of employment. During the robbery of the bank that she helped to manage, the employee was staged as having been kidnapped by robbers. The worker claimed to have suffered from her experience and filed a workers’ comp claim for post traumatic stress disorder.

Arrest made for fraudulent workers' compensation claims

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims can damage a company financially and could affect insurance premiums if not discovered. A California employer that has discovered a false injury may start an investigation in an attempt to uncover the truth. A beauty contestant was recently arrested for making fraudulent workers' compensation claims when she was apparently seen competing in pageants following an injury.

The young woman claimed to have hurt her foot while working at a supermarket. The injury was serious enough that the woman stated she would be unable to return to work. She told her employer that the pain limited her ability to wear shoes or walk when weight was applied to the injured foot.

Employer defense and a worker seeking addition compensation

Home health care facilities in California are responsible for sending workers into the homes of their clients and may often require an employer defense in the event someone is hurt while on the job. An employer defense may work to protect a company from having to provide compensation benefits beyond necessity when an accident does occur. A higher court decision recently determined that an Alzheimer’s patient who had been sued by a home health care employee was not responsible for providing compensation for an injury.

The injury occurred when the trained worker was providing in-home care to an Alzheimer’s patient that included help with basic living. The care provider was washing dishes when the Alzheimer’s patient clumsily ran into her as she was cleaning a heavy knife. The impact caused a laceration on the wrist of the worker, which resulted in finger numbness and ongoing pain.

Workers' compensation defense and hired contractors

Workers' compensation defense may help to keep an employer from being taken advantage of and ensure that both the injured party and the company are protected. A California company that hires contractors to complete construction on its property may question its rights for workers' compensation defense in the event that a worker is hurt. A fire began recently at what used to be a California hotel while construction crews performed renovations on the premises.

The afternoon fire quickly reached three-alarm status and took over three hours for firefighters to put out. A total of eight contract workers suffered injury during the fire, though only seven of them were treated at a nearby medical facility for inhaling smoke. Health care providers believed the injuries to be minor.

Why medical information is important in work comp cases

Proper medical treatment is a cornerstone of the proper administration of California’s workers’ compensation system. Essentially, treating doctors must implement treatments that are scientifically proven to abate the injuries or illnesses that a worker suffers from as a result of an on-the-job injury or accident.

To that end, physicians must follow a set of guidelines approved by the workers’ compensation board regarding which treatments are appropriate for particular injuries, their frequency, and how long they should be given. In following these guidelines, the State of California has developed a medical treatment utilization schedule (MTUS) that applies to different body regions as treatment is contemplated. 

The financial benefits of a drug free workplace

Arguably, one of the best ways to manage workers’ compensation costs is to maintain a safe working environment. Part of this may include establishing a drug-free workplace policy. While it may seem obvious that workers should not be taking drugs while at work, it may be surprising how many workers come to the workplace while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that drug abuse costs businesses more than $80 billion each year.

With that said, a proper drug free workplace policy will identify the drugs that employees must refrain from (i.e. methamphetamines, marijuana, cocaine) as well as a policy for testing and rehabilitation if there is a positive test or an incident related to drug use. 

The future of wearable technology and workers' comp

Wearable technology is the next big thing for retailers. From Samsung’s smart watch to Google’s Glass, the world of mobile technology has a great deal to offer consumers and employers alike. For employers, wearable technology can provide a number of opportunities to expound on safety measures and take further action to prevent injuries.

Additionally, wearable technologies are poised to give employers better opportunities to correctly assess injuries; which in turn, can help in diagnosing and assessing injuries, so that benefits can be correctly distributed. A number of our posts have focused on the troubles that come with employees who falsely claim injuries or fail to report that they have made it past injuries in order to continue receiving benefits. 

How one car company tackled a common work injury using 3-D printing

If you were to travel virtually any street or highway in the greater Los Angeles area, there is a very good chance that you would encounter a significant number of BMWs. While the German automaker is known across Southern California and around the world for making automobiles that are both reliable and luxurious, it is also known for its emphasis on employee safety at its various plants.

To illustrate, consider a recent innovation undertaken at the automaker's Munich-based assembly plant designed to help prevent a common yet debilitating injury among its workforce.

The work injury in question is excess strain on the thumb frequently experienced by assembly line workers tasked with fitting rubber plugs. Here, the rubber plugs are pressed into the new vehicles by the workers and closed for the impending coating of paint, a process that can cause overstretching of the thumb joint over time.

How to avoid problems when denying workers' comp claims

As workers’ compensation defense attorneys, a great deal of our practice involves counseling employers on when and how to issue denials. Denying a work comp claim comes with its consequences, and more states are focusing on penalizing employers for unjustified denials. Moreover, a focus on the legal requirements behind denials has increased over the past few years. Because of this, it is important for employers to understand the steps and requirements behind workers’ comp claim denials.

This post will give a few helpful tips. 

Postal service company worker pleads guilty to work comp fraud

A worker for a California postal service company was recently indicted for workers’ compensation insurance fraud when he was reportedly seen playing in a bowling league. The worker, who allegedly suffered an industrial injury, filed for workers compensation benefits. He claimed that he suffered intense pain that prevented him from lifting anything.

While investigating the claim, adjusters became suspicious and performed further inquiries in the worker’s after work activities. They reviewed social networking sites and found video footage of the worker playing in a bowling tournament. Also, the worker, while in the midst of a deposition, lied about how his pain prevented him from playing the game he loved. In fact, he continued to bowl on a regular basis. The worker also continued to collect workers' comp benefits to a tune of over $12,764.

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