Workers insurance is designed to compensate workers if and when something goes wrong and you’re injured at work. But as with any type of insurance, there will always be those who try to work the system by making employee false injury claim cases. This type of insurance is designed to pay out compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and other costs if you’ve been injured whilst doing your job. People do abuse the system and false injury claim cases can end up costing employers thousands of pounds a year.
In fact according to a study by AXA UK, almost 25% of small and medium sized businesses in the UK feel that they have been victims of a fraudulent injury compensation claim by an employee. Employee false injury claim cases have led to an increase in insurance premiums for around 50% of companies who responded to the survey.
Types of employee false injury claim cases
There are four main types of employee false injury claim cases:
- Injuries occurring outside work – For example where somebody reports a personal injury such as a sprained ankle sustained whilst jogging, as a workplace-related injury in order to claim compensation
- Exaggerated injuries – Where you make out your injuries are more severe in order to get more compensation or more time off work
- Inventing injuries – Where you make up an injury that is hard to diagnose and contest, such as back pain
- Old injuries – Claiming an old injury has just happened is one way that many workers falsely claim compensation
There are also malingering cases where employees maintain an injury’s symptoms are still ongoing when in fact they have already recovered. These types of employee false injury claim cases can end up costing companies money and also be detrimental to the running of a business. However, if you have genuinely been injured then you are entitled to claim compensation, provided it has been three years or less since your accident.
What employers should look out for
There are a number of things that employers should be vigilant for when it comes to employee false injury claim cases and here are just a few things to look out for:
- Inconsistent stories – If the employee’s details of the accident seem inconsistent and repeatedly change, then it may be that their accident never happened or they are exaggerating their injuries
- Repeat claims – Sometimes an employee who has made one successful claim will try to file another claim in a short period of time
- Lack of witnesses – Whilst a lack of witnesses doesn’t on its own confirm that an accident never happened, if nobody saw or heard anything, it could mean that the accident happened elsewhere, or that it never happened at all
Employers can utilise evidence such as witness statements and CCTV to support or contest an employee’s claim for compensation and further investigations may be carried out if they believe that an employee is trying to falsely claim personal injury compensation.
The impact of employee false injury claim cases on businesses
Unfortunately those who falsely claim personal injury compensation from their employers make life more difficult for everybody else. Businesses will end up paying higher insurance premiums if they have had to claim on their employer’s liability insurance after a compensation claim by an employee. For small and medium sized companies, this may mean making cutbacks in other areas, which could lead to job losses or salary freezes for other members of staff. In extreme cases it could even put a company out of business. If somebody is off sick after an accident and falsely claiming compensation, this can put added pressure on remaining members of staff who may need to work twice as hard to cover the ill person’s shifts.
This can lead to staff members becoming ill with stress, and they could find themselves eligible to claim personal injury compensation if this happens. In 2014/15, employer’s liability claims rose to 105,000 from 81,000 in 2006/07. The number of people claiming compensation for accidents at work is on the rise – but does this mean that our workplaces are becoming more dangerous?
How much do employee injury claims cost?
Whilst you can make a 100% no-win, no-fee claim for personal injury compensation with Accident Advice Helpline if you are injured in an accident at work, the cost to your employer can be much higher. According to RoSPA, the cost of workplace accidents to UK businesses was £2.8 billion in 2010/11, with 27 million working days lost in 2011/12. Whilst your employer is liable and you should be paid compensation if they were responsible for your accident, it’s easy to see how employee false injury claim cases can seriously impact businesses in the UK.
Figures from the HSE show that an average of 622,000 workers were injured in workplace accidents between 2013 and 2016, at a cost to the UK’s economy of £4.8 billion in 2014/15. Cutting corners by being uninsured isn’t the answer for employers either, as figures from the HSE show that the cost of uninsured losses is on average ten times the cost of insurance premiums paid for the same period.
Should you make a personal injury claim after your accident?
Don’t let stories of employee false injury claim cases put you off making a claim for compensation. If you’ve been injured and your employer was negligent – whatever happened – then you’re entitled to claim compensation. In most cases you won’t even have to go to court as Accident Advice Helpline can handle most claims over the phone. To find out more about making a claim, just pick up the phone and call us on 0800 689 0500 (or call 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to get advice from our expert team.
We have been helping workers claim compensation for over 16 years, and we’re proud to be endorsed by our patron, TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen. Get in touch with us and you’ll benefit from our expert knowledge and no-obligation advice from our team of advisors.
Date Published: 17th May 2013