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How do you spot a fake back injury?

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Quick Answer

Though it is not always possible to spot a fraudulent claim of back pain, doctors and insurance company investigators look for several signs of fraud when patients report back injuries. These approaches involve securing accurate diagnosis from multiple complementary angles, according to WebMD.

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WebMD describes the evaluation of back pain in patients as a comprehensive examination that starts with a detailed medical history. The patient provides information about past incidents of back pain, and the examining physician inquires further about what caused the most recent episode. The doctor asks about the quality and severity of the pain, as well as whether there is any way the patient is able to relieve the pain once it starts. Typically, this line of questioning leads to a physical examination.

Insurance companies, which approach the issue from a claims perspective, often go somewhat further than doctors to try and spot fraudulent claims. HowStuffWorks describes the way some insurance claims are assigned to private investigators and medical claims experts: These professionals examine the patient's work and medical history, interview witnesses and sometimes undertake covert surveillance. When a private investigator obtains footage of a patient performing physically demanding activities, it can be presented as evidence against the claimant. This type of evidence often reveals that the claimed injury is either not present or is seriously exaggerated.

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