Am I being followed because I filed a workers’ compensation case?
If an insurance company suspects that your workers’ compensation case is fraudulent or that you are exaggerating your injuries, they may hire a private investigator to observe your activity level.
By doing so, the insurance company is hoping to catch you doing something that is outside any physical restrictions your doctor has placed on you.
When you have a workers’ compensation case, it is important that you are truthful with your treating doctor about your injuries and physical limitations. If you are not honest with your doctor, and a private investigator records you doing something outside your restrictions, your credibility will be seriously damaged, along with your case.
Isn’t it illegal for an insurance company to record my activities?
Unfortunately, the insurance company is well within its rights to hire a private investigator to follow you and record your activities. That does not mean you are confined to your house; it simply means that you should not do anything that exceeds your physical limitations. While the private investigator can follow you to record your activities, the investigator cannot trespass on your property or try to obtain surveillance of you in your own home.
Why am I under surveillance?
Insurance companies handle hundreds of claims every year and know what red flags to look for in those claims. The insurance company may hire a private investigator to try and catch you doing something that would allow them to cut off your benefits.
When your doctor places physical restrictions on you, those restrictions do not just apply to work. The restrictions also apply to your daily activities in life. That includes things like mowing your lawn when your doctor told you to avoid any pushing or pulling. Or carrying heavy groceries into your home when you have a 5-pound lifting restriction.
If a private investigator records you doing something outside your physical restriction, the insurance company may then show the surveillance video to your treating doctor. Your doctor may release you to return to work or stop your medical treatment based on what the surveillance video shows.
Should I be worried about my social media posts?
Not only will the insurance company conduct surveillance, it will also review your social media accounts and those of your family or friends. Do not post anything on social media about your accident or injuries. If you have already posted about your accident or injuries, do not take down those posts. Do not let your family or friends post anything on social media about your accident or injuries. Also, be wary of who you accept as a “friend” on any social media account.
How do I protect myself if a private investigator is hired?
- Always be honest about both your injuries and your physical limitations. Do not exaggerate your injuries to either your doctor or the insurance company.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and just assume you are being watched.
- Keep your doctor up to date on your activity level.
- If you believe you are being followed, do not confront the private investigator.
- Hire an attorney who can properly advise on your rights under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.
If you believe you are under surveillance because of your workers’ compensation case, please contact one of the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Allen & Allen so we can help protect your rights! Call today at 866-388-1307.