Overview of Workers’ Compensation Fraud in New Jersey
In 1998 New Jersey passed a bill which for the first time defines and establishes penalties for Workers’ Compensation fraud (N.J.S.A. 34:15-57.4). The provisions of the bill make it a criminal act to “willfully and knowingly” misrepresent facts in order to receive compensation or avoid paying it. For an act of fraud to be committed, then, a purposeful intent to misrepresent relevant information needs to be established.
Workers’ Compensation fraud falls into three basic categories. The first is when an employee willfully offers false information about his/her physical condition, job status, or treatment. The worker also commits fraud by falsely connecting the injury with the job. Even exaggerating the extent of injury is considered fraud.
Employers are required to maintain Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage. Failure to do so, or any willful misrepresentation of a worker’s status or injury in order to avoid paying benefits, is also a criminal act. This provision also extends to an employer’s delaying of benefits.
Finally, if a health care provider or other professional assists an individual or employer in falsifying a Workers’ Compensation claim, he/she is in violation of New Jersey law. Such fraud may also entail over billing for treatment, or billing for services that were never provided.
If you are in need of assistance with a workers’ compensation claim, turn to a specialist with a proven track record. Call New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo today at (908) 248-4404.