|Date||31 July 2020|
1 charge pursuant to Section 533 Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (WCRA) – Attempted Fraud
1 charge pursuant to Section 534 WCRA – Providing false or misleading information or documents
|Court||Coolangatta Magistrates Court|
|Plea||Plea of Guilty|
The worker was charged with attempting to defraud the insurer by providing false or misleading information about the location where they sustained their injury.
On 23 April 2019, the worker lodged an application for compensation with the insurer for an injury they sustained to their ankle on 13 April 2019. In this application, the worker detailed how the accident happened as “I stepped off outside steps and rolled my ankle both ways, it was dark at 4:00am there was a light on but still hard to see at this time.”
On the same date, the insurer sought clarification regarding the location where the injury was sustained. The worker responded that they were leaving their home address and that “I was leaving around 4am, I was heading to my car, outside, there are steps outside of our home which lead down to my car, I tripped down those steps & rolled my ankle both ways.”
The insurer responded on 24 April 2019 requesting clarification of whether these steps were at the front or back of the worker’s house and whether they were within the boundary of their property. The worker responded that “the steps are outside the front of the house” and sent a further email asking for their compensation to be processed as soon as possible as their rent is due.
On 24 April 2019, the insurer rejected the worker’s claim as the injury occurred in the boundary of their property. The worker responded stating “it actually happened on outside steps which are located on the road where my car was parked”.
The insurer conducted a Google Maps Street View search of the worker’s property which did not locate any stairs near the road outside the property.
When informed that an investigator would have to come out and inspect the stairs, the worker withdrew their application for compensation.
Fine of $800.00 in respect of both charges
|Common Law rights extinguished?||Yes|
|Consideration for Prevention||A worker should be honest with the insurer regarding where an injury occurred.|