workers comp claims surveillanceYou may not be losing your mind if you suspect that someone is following you or otherwise spying on you after you file a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer’s insurance company is denying your claim or arguing that you should receive less than you believe you are entitled to, the adjuster could hire a private investigator to follow you around. You need to understand why this is being done and what to expect so that you can protect yourself and not inadvertently hurt your claim.

Why Does Your Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company Want to Spy on You?

Is it legal for a workers’ compensation insurance company to hire a private investigator to engage in surveillance when you file a workers’ compensation claim? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. However, the person cannot come into your house, peek inside your windows, or come onto your property.

The investigator can spy on you and take pictures and videotape while you are on public property going about your daily activities. Although surveillance is expensive, the workers’ compensation insurance company may hire a private investigator in the hopes of finding out information about you that hurts your claim. Here are the reasons the insurance company would engage in surveillance:

  • The insurance company is looking for evidence that you are engaging in activities that you claim you cannot do, such as recreational activities or sports, mowing the lawn, or lifting objects that you should not be able to lift.
  • The insurance company is also looking for other evidence that you are not injured as seriously as you claim. For example, if you claim that you can only stand for 10 minutes but are caught on video standing for 20 minutes, this could damage your claim.
  • The insurance company is searching for locations you go to that suggest you are doing an activity that you cannot do. If you go to the bowling alley for dinner with friends, a picture of you entering the bowling alley could be used to suggest that you went there to bowl.

When Could You Be Under Surveillance in Your Case?

The reality is that the insurance company could engage in surveillance at any time while your workers’ compensation claim is being disputed. In addition, just because you discover a private investigator following you and then he stops does not mean that you will not be under surveillance in the future. When the insurance company does not find damaging information, it often will not give up, hoping to catch you at a later date.

You also need to realize that more than one person could be engaging in surveillance at different times of the day or during different periods of surveillance. Possible surveillance could occur on the weekends or in the evening. The private investigator might also attempt to interview neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, or ex-spouses. Your best defense is to assume that you could be under surveillance any time you leave your home and act accordingly.

What Workers Are More Likely to Be Put Under Surveillance?

An insurance adjuster will not authorize surveillance in every case. However, you could be more likely to be the target of surveillance in these circumstances:

  • You suffered a permanent partial disability or a total disability.
  • You suffer with long-term chronic pain or a back or tissue injury.
  • You have a history of prior injuries or workers’ compensation claims.

Hiring an Investigator Is Not the Only Way the Insurance Company Could Spy on You

The insurance adjuster may search your social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more looking for damaging posts where you say something or post a picture that suggests that you are less seriously injured than you claim. You, your family, and friends need to be very careful about what is posted while your workers’ compensation claim is being fought.

Contact Our Office to Schedule Your Appointment

Did your employer deny your claim for workers’ compensation benefits? Are you worried that the insurance company is spying on you? I have been helping injured workers obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve for over 20 years. To learn how I can help you, fill out my online form to schedule a free consultation.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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