The summer season is quickly approaching, which means that school is almost out, the weather is improving, and travel season is drawing near. For many people, summer is an opportunity to indulge in a family vacation. However, for those collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits, this dream may be further out of reach. Unfortunately, traveling can be a difficult process for workers recovering from an occupational illness or injury due to the frequent medical appointments, restrictions on physical activities, and other concerns.
An important part of collecting Workers’ Compensation is keeping up with appropriate medical care – specifically doctors’ appointments. Proper treatment of a worker’s injuries may require them to meet frequently with a medical specialist. However, traveling during the summer months can interfere with these important appointments.
For those receiving work injury benefits, it critical to follow their doctors’ orders, including attending medical appointments as instructed. Missing or rescheduling appointments may put a Workers’ Compensation recipient at risk of losing their benefits. This can be challenging for those who are planning on traveling for long periods of time. Therefore, it is in one’s best interest to plan vacations around doctor’s appointments and other important meetings.
For most travelers, participating in physical activities is an essential part of a vacation. Sports like jet skiing, zip lining, and hiking can be an exciting way to enjoy the outdoors. However, participating in physical activities can be risky for those suffering with a work-related injury. Although some physical activities are acceptable, any activity that directly violates a doctor’s orders should be avoided.
For those who do participate in restricted activities, it is important to consider that Workers’ Compensation carriers employ investigators to track a claimant’s movements. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to hire investigators to take photos and videos of any restricted activities taking place. If investigators have evidence that doctor’s orders were disobeyed, the insurer may attempt to terminate benefits. Similarly, it is important for claimants to monitor their social media accounts. If there are is any photographic evidence of a claimant participating in restricted activities, it is likely that benefits will be lost.
Claimants should also note that scheduling a vacation shortly before or after an injury tends to raise red flags. Although it may be innocent, scheduling a vacation near the time of an injury may draw suspicion of Workers’ Compensation fraud.
Consequences for claim fraudulence tends to vary by case and may include fines and even jail time. Depending on the crime, claimants may serve up to 30 years in jail. On other occasions, the claimant may be responsible for paying back the amount of money received in compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury at work, please consider contacting the services of a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Gross & Kenny, LLP. Our lawyers are determined to help our clients obtain compensation for their injuries. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500 for a free consultation. With an office located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania.