Missouri businesses with more than 5 employees are generally required by law to carry worker’s comp insurance, though any type of business can choose to carry it. It’s a form of protecting their employees and the company, in case of an injury: the worker will receive proper medical care covered by the insurance, and the employer is safe from liability suits.
However, some injured workers may encounter a rather strange request from their employers. If they get hurt on the job, their employer may ask them to say they weren’t injured at work, but at home or another place.
You Risk a Lot in Doing So
If you comply with your employer’s request, either because you like them, or fear you may lose your job if you don’t, you are risking your health and financial wellbeing.
Your employer may say it’s just so that they don’t have to go the insurance route, and may even guarantee to cover your medical costs off the books. So you comply and tell the doctor your injury was sustained at home. The moment you do this, you lose your right to worker’s compensation benefits.
You have no guarantee your employer will keep their word and cover your medical costs. A $500 bill may be easily reimbursed, but what if your condition is more serious and your medical costs total up to around $100,000? What if you also need to take time off work to recover? These are all benefits of worker’s comp insurance that you are giving away with a lie.
What Can You Do?
If your employer asks you to lie to the ER doctor about where you got injured, don’t. A promise that they will cover your medical expenses is no guarantee they will do so, especially if the treatment is extensive. Plus, worker’s compensation benefits extend beyond covered medical bills, and it’s unlikely for an employer to cover these off the books as well.
Be honest with your doctor, and if you fear retribution from your employer, discuss this with your workers’ compensation attorney.
What your employer is asking you to do is considered fraud, and if you comply, you are committing fraud too. If, after you lie, and see the situation requires a lot more financial support than initially estimated, there’s no guarantee the insurance company will cover your costs because, remember, you are guilty of fraud. Your medical records will say your injuries were sustained at home because you told the doctor that.
Have You Been Injured at Work?
If you have been injured on the job, protect your legal right to workers’ compensation by speaking with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we can evaluate your case free of charge and help you understand what your best options are moving forward.
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