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Woman sentenced to prison for faking a neck injury

When an employee gets injured on-the-job, that employee may be entitled to workers' compensation. These benefits can help an employee financially while he or she is recovering until they can return to work. But if workers' compensation is not accurately recorded or it is discovered that the employee faked an injury, the consequences can be great.

A 23-year-old woman has been sentenced to one to three years in prison for committing insurance fraud. She allegedly lied to doctors, the Workers Compensation Board and the state's Insurance Board by convincing them she suffered a very serious neck injury at work.

Like other construction sites, her workplace could be a likely place for a severe injury to occur. According to the article, she somehow convinced officials that she had permanent fixed torticollis. This condition leaves the injured person with their head and neck stuck horizontally to one side or the other. In this case, the woman claimed that her head was permanently resting on her right shoulder.

But her story was proven untrue after a video captured her ability to move her head and neck. As a result she was criminally charged with insurance fraud; she had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from both an insurance board as well as a workers' compensation board for her injury.

Getting legitimately injured on the job should result in compensation for the injured employee. Employers are required under federal law to maintain a standard of health and safety in order to protect workers. But injured employees should be sure to get accurate documentation from both their employer and doctor so that no questions can be raised about their injury.

Source: Times Union online, "Injury scam draws prison," Robert Gavin, 24 June 2011

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