When you open a small business, it’s almost a given that you’ll be involved in personal injury litigation at some point. When these incidents occur, it’s often difficult to tell the real injuries from the fraudulent ones – especially if the only evidence is the customer or employee’s account. Security cameras are the best way to ensure that your company is able to survive a lawsuit resulting from a fraudulent injury report. Protecting your business from insurance fraud (be it a frivolous personal injury lawsuit or bogus workers’ compensation claim) with a high-quality security camera system is a must for the continued vitality of your company.
When, not if
Far from being uncommon, 36 – 53% of businesses will be involved in at least one litigation dispute each year and 90% of all businesses deal with litigation at some point. Security cameras allow you, attorneys, and a jury to effectively judge the incident in a claim without bias. With all this potential risk, security cameras can pay for themselves by saving you the cost, time, and stress of fraudulent lawsuits.
Legitimate accident or fraud?
When a customer slips and falls on your premises, it can be a scary situation. You want to ensure that your customer gets the help they need, while also protecting your business. However, when these incidents turn out to be fraud, you need a reliable and unbiased source to show the true story. Whether it’s a slip and fall, falling debris, or a parking lot incident, security cameras provide the evidence you need to protect your business interests. Just take a look at this incident. Without security camera footage disproving his claim, this man may have been able to successfully follow through on a clearly fraudulent lawsuit.
While you need effective coverage inside your business, don’t forget about exterior areas. Claims of tumbles or vehicle damage in parking lots are common. Like other incidents, many of these claims are fraudulent. Surveillance cameras in parking lots can help insulate you from frivolous lawsuits if someone fraudulently claims to have taken a spill in your lot or identifies pre-existing damage.
Workers’ comp scams
While the vast majority of workers’ compensation claims are legitimate, fraudulent claims cost employers billions of dollars each year. From skyrocketing workers’ comp premiums to lawsuits, inflated or bogus workers’ compensation claims can lead your company to ruin.
Workers’ compensation fraud can be perpetrated by anyone within the system, but claimant (or employee) fraud is by far the most common. While warning signs can vary from claim to claim, pay attention to claims that occur when there is an impending change in employment status (like at the end of seasonal employment), those that happen early on Monday mornings or late on Friday afternoons, and those that occur when the employee is alone.
If you have a security camera system in your workplace, the presence of cameras can also discourage employees who may consider making a fraudulent claim. Since employees are required to report these injuries to their employer, you should review your camera footage as soon as possible following the reported incident. Footage of all claims should be made available to your workers’ compensation company or agency as part of the documentation for the claim. You should also take into account the amount of time that an employee has to report an injury (up to 45 days in some states) when considering how long to retain your footage before deleting or overwriting it.
Timing is everything
If a customer, client, or visitor claims that they sustained an injury on your business property, you need to retain video footage of the incident until the statute of limitations expires for a personal injury lawsuit expires. Ranging from one to six years, the statute of limitations for personal injury civil suits varies by state, so it’s important to check your state guidelines and with your attorney for guidance on each specific situation.
When an employee claims an injury on the job, workers’ compensation laws kick in immediately. Generally, employees need to notify you within 30-45 days of an injury to retain their right to file a workers’ compensation claim, though early reporting should be recorded. Though the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim varies from state to state, employees generally file within one year of the date of injury. Check with your attorney and state workers’ compensation bureau for specific information on how long you should retain video footage of all employee injury claims.
No matter how long you need to keep your footage on file, our security camera experts can work with you to determine the right amount of storage you need to help you meet your video retention needs.
Are you covered for that?
In addition to security cameras to verify the validity of an incident, you also need to ensure that you have all the right insurance protections in place in the event of a lawsuit or claim (fraudulent or otherwise). Professional liability insurance covers claims that allege work mistakes, missed deliverables, and negligence. Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical bills and lost time for employees injured on the job. Commercial property insurance can help pay for equipment that is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, storms, burst pipes, and other natural disasters. General liability insurance helps protect businesses by covering costs when a customer is injured on the premises and pay for legal expenses associated with damage from a product.
Limit your liability
Whether your business is a gas station, traditional office building, or restaurant, there is no shortage of fraudulent insurance claims resulting in civil lawsuits. Installing a security camera system is the best way to protect your company against bogus lawsuits, helping you to focus on building and growing your business.
With years of experience and training, our security camera experts are able to fully evaluate your security needs and determine the right camera products for your business. Whether you need 360-degree views, move and zoom, object tracking, or stationary cameras, our detailed understanding of the common concerns that businesses face helps us deliver the best recommendations for your business. Get a quote for all of your security camera needs.
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