Bad Actors in Workers’ Compensation Claims

February 19, 2018

Monmouth County NJ Workers' Comp AttorneysBad actors are defined by Merriam-Webster as “unruly, or contentious individuals”. The legal definition of bad actors can be in some ways more specific, but in others hard to pin down. Bad actors in workers’ compensation claims may be corrupt healthcare providers, doctors, employers, and even those who file fraudulent claims. Today, our workers’ compensation attorneys will discuss bad actors, their impact on workers’ compensation claims, and the downstream impact which these fraudulent actions have on workers’ compensation regulations.

Monmouth County, NJ Workers’ Comp Attorneys Discuss Types of Bad Actors

The potential for abuse of existing workers’ compensation regulations certainly exists on both sides of the equation. With any institution governed by strict guidelines such as workers’ comp, there will be loopholes and workarounds which serve the individuals involved, sometimes at the expense of other innocent parties. Examples of bad actors can include:

Claimant Employees – we have all seen TV shows where a claimant walks into court with a neck brace and a phony story about slipping in a grocery store. Unfortunately, those who abuse the workers’ comp system make it more difficult for employees who are genuinely injured and unable to work.

Employers – the flip side of the coin is employers who make seek to deny legitimate claims by injured employees using legal loopholes and other questionable methods. It is the responsibility of employers to act in good faith when protecting their employees.

Attorneys – while we are all pleased that both the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims are continuing to lessen with time, that creates a difficult situation for law firms that practice exclusively workers’ compensation law. Many firms have responded by trying to make more money per case, which has led to questions of proper ethics in the legal community of billing for more hours and/or with higher rates for the same work.

Red Bank Bad Actor Lawyers Discuss Impact on Workers’ Compensation Regulations

The good and bad news when discussing bad actors is the trickle-down impact which can be seen in additional legal regulations that are intended to protect both employers and employees. For example, most or all of the following New Jersey statutes have come as a result of previous fraudulent or unethical conduct:

  • It is unlawful for an employee to be terminated or discriminated against because he or she files a workers’ compensation claim. Before regulations were passed against these terminations, there was nothing stopping employers from simply firing injured employees
  • It is unlawful for an employee to be terminated because of his or her medical condition as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Similar to the previous item, before modern employment laws, it was common practice to simply fire workers who became ill or suffered a disabling injury
  • For workers with multiple jobs, they may only be eligible to file workers’ compensation with the employer where the injury took place
  • Employers may be protected from paying workers’ compensation claims if the claimant has already received financial compensation through a personal injury claim or other third party recovery
  • If you are disabled and unable to work, the Federal Family Medical Leave Act may provide health insurance to protect you and your family

Contact our West Long Branch Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today

At The Law Office of Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh, our workers’ compensation lawyers understand that with complex and high stakes legal issues, there will always be bad actors. Our legal team takes pride in protecting the legal rights of our clients and conducting our legal practice up to the highest ethical standards. If you have been injured on the job and are considering filing for workers’ compensation, lean on the experience we have cultivated through reaching successful outcomes for our clients in our local New Jersey communities such as Red Bank, Freehold, Asbury Park, Middletown, Howell, West Long Branch, and the greater Monmouth County area. Our esteemed team of attorneys have been involved in several precedent-setting and hallmark decisions in New Jersey and are ready to put that knowledge and experience to work for you.

Contact us online or call our West Long Branch offices by dialing (732) 440-3950 today for a free and confidential consultation with a member of our experienced legal team regarding your injuries and your potential workers’ compensation claim.

Categorised in: Workers' Compensation