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Workers’ Compensation and Surveillance

If you have ever had a workers’ compensation claim, it is possible that you have been followed by a private investigator. Surveillance is a tool that insurance companies routinely use to check on the activities of the injured worker. Many times they are just curious and do what is called an activities check. However, there are sometimes that the insurance company is just hoping they catch the injured worker engaging in behavior and activities the worker claims that he or she cannot do.

The basic premise behind surveillance is that injured people who claim they cannot work should not be out doing things that are contradictory to the doctor’s orders. One of the main reasons surveillance is performed is to attack the credibility of the injured worker by proving he or she can do more than what they say they can do. Do not assume that the private investigator cannot watch you while you are outside in your yard, shopping or visiting the doctor. If you are outside of your home, you can be watched and recorded at any time. Be aware that the private investigator may in fact contact your neighbors to determine what they see and know about you.

The best way to avoid surveillance issues from complicating your case is to do exactly what your doctor says to do. If the doctor says do not lift anything more than 5 pounds, then do not lift more than 5 pounds. It is very simple. If you are not permitted to do yard work, then you should not be doing yard work. The last thing you want is the judge who is hearing your case to see a video of you doing something that you have previously said you cannot do. Remember, at all times, someone may be watching.