Most people would consider themselves paranoid if they suspected someone was following them. After all, what could they possibly be doing that would interest a private investigator? However, if you filed a workers’ compensation case and notice a car parked down the street from your house or someone tailing you while you do your errands, your fears could be justified. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company could have hired an investigator to follow you. This is becoming an increasingly common practice in workers’ compensation cases.
Ten Things You Need to Know About Surveillance in Workers’ Comp Cases to Protect Yourself
Insurance companies hire private eyes in workers’ compensation cases for one reason: to try to deny your claim or reduce the amount of your benefits. They hope to catch you doing some activity inconsistent with your injuries. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself:
- If you have a minor injury where you will only be off work for a short period of time, it is unlikely that the insurance company would spy on you.
- An insurance company would be more likely to use surveillance if you suffered serious injuries, filed a claim for workers’ comp benefits in the past, or are using the same doctor or attorney you have used before in a workers’ comp or personal injury case.
- Private investigators can watch you and videotape you in public, but not in your home.
- Expect that a private investigator could be spying on you at any time during your workers’ compensation case, so do not do anything that would give them ammunition that could hurt your case.
- Investigators could interview your family, friends, co-workers, ex-spouses, and acquaintances trying to dig up harmful information.
- If an investigator does not find any damaging information the first time he spies on you, this does not mean he will give up.
- Private detectives do not work just from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays. You could be under surveillance during the evening or on weekends too.
- Be careful about discussing your daily activities with co-workers. Your employer could question them about this and then send an investigator to watch you at these places.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions, and do not perform activities that he advised you not to do.
- Do not perform any odd jobs like babysitting or gardening while receiving workers’ comp benefits. It could be considered fraud and could hurt your claim.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can give you further advice on how to protect yourself if you are being watched by a private investigator. Call us today at 800.556.8890 to schedule a free consultation.