Worker’s Compensation Investigations


This article provides an overview of worker’s compensation investigations. In 2015, workers received more than $61.8 billion in benefits for injuries in the workplace. Some of those claims were fraudulent and required a worker’s compensation investigation.

What is Worker’s Compensation?

Workers’ compensation programs protect employees who receive physical injuries during the course of their work. Worker’s compensation benefits are paid to a worker to compensate for losses caused by a work-related injury or illness. If someone has an injury on the job, they may not be able to work for a period of time and, therefore, can’t earn an income.

The worker’s compensation benefit seeks to provide the injured person with an income during the time when they are unable to work or can only work at a reduced rate or capacity. Workers’ compensation is generally a “no-fault” system in which the injured workers receive medical care and financial or monetary compensation benefits regardless of who is responsible for the job-related accident.

Additionally, the program provides death benefits to the survivors of a worker who died due to injuries on the job.

Fraudulent Claims

Some individuals file fraudulent worker’s compensation claims in hopes of collecting insurance money, even though no actual injury or loss occurred on the job. Insurance companies, attorneys, and corporations may hire private investigators to help obtain proof of a fraudulent worker’s compensation claim.

Worker’s Compensation Investigations: Investigating Fraudulent Claims

Fraudulent insurance claims cost the industry billions of dollars each year. To reduce the number of losses that occur due to fraud, insurance companies thoroughly investigate all claims. In some cases, they use in-house investigators who are a part of their existing staff. In others, they outsource the job to a local private investigator.


Private investigators may be hired to obtain proof of fraudulent worker’s compensation claims by surveilling the individual. In this capacity, private investigators may be referred to as worker’s compensation investigators. Types of information collected during surveillance can include videotaping and taking photographs of the subject’s actions and behavior.

The goal is usually to catch someone doing something inconsistent with their injury. Examples include capturing a picture of someone bowling when they supposedly sustained a back injury on the job. Or, catching someone running when they supposedly injured their ankle at work.

Subject and Witness Interviews

In addition to catching the person in the act, there are other methods that an investigator might use to determine if someone is filing a fraudulent claim. Interviews with the claimant may reveal that the injury occurred without any witnesses. While this alone doesn’t prove a false claim, it can serve as a piece of the overall puzzle. 

In addition, the interview may reveal additional information, such as when and where the accident or injury occurred. In some cases, investigators determine that the actual injury occurred while the individual was not at work.

Background Check

Worker’s compensation investigators may run a background check related to the case. A background check may reveal evidence of financial difficulty or a history of filing insurance claims. As part of the search process, an investigator may speak to previous employers, insurance companies, and others.

Hire a Private Investigator to Help With Your Case

To locate a private investigator in your area that specializes in providing surveillance services for workers’ compensation investigation cases, please visit our Private Investigation Directory.

Worker’s Compensation Resources

Workers Compensation – Provides workers’ compensation news and information for employees, employers, insurers, and medical providers. Includes a worker’s compensation research center, locating an insurance provider, getting info on your state’s program, and finding professional help relating to workplace injuries and disabilities in the U.S.

For more information and to look up the state website and appointed officials, please visit the United States Department of Labor.

Surveillance Equipment

If you are interested in purchasing the latest surveillance equipment to conduct worker’s compensation investigations, please see our Spy & Surveillance Equipment section. A variety of high-tech gear is available to help you watch the subject’s behavior and capture photos or videos of their actions.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about worker’s compensation investigations, please post a comment below.


  1. If you are injuried:
    1. Get medical attention right away. Go to the doctor the very same day of your injury. Do not delay. The sooner you get comprehensive documentation of your injury from your healthcare provider, the better.

    2. Notify your employer, the sooner the better.

    3. File your claim. Complete your “first report of injury” (FROI) quickly.

    These three steps will help you get medical help, get compensation for your injuries, show there is No fraud as far as your case is concerned!

  2. Just like many legal topics, workers’ comp has gotten a bad reputation – The reality is, only a fraction of cases are fraudulent each year. According to a 2014 report from the University of Michigan, about 2% of cases each year are fraud.


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