Private Investigators May be Watching The Daily Activities of Workers’ Comp Claimants.
This winter has been a snowy one for Pennsylvania and with snow comes shoveling. If you’ve been injured on the job and you’re collecting workers’ compensation, don’t take any chances trying to dig out. Not only because your injury could worsen, but also because the insurance company may be surveilling you.
This might sound surprising and maybe even a bit creepy, but it happens often and insurance companies are legally permitted to do this. Employers and insurance companies often rely on private investigators to follow and videotape the daily activities of employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims.
Occasionally it is warranted to uncover fraud, but more often than not, insurance companies will use this tactic to try to avoid paying for legitimate claims.
It is not illegal to for someone to observe you in public and take photos and video of you as long as they are not trespassing on private property. They can gather evidence that could be used against you like running errands, mowing the lawn or shoveling! Often claimant’s will spend 5 minutes, trying to shovel snow, lift groceries, etc before they realize that they just can’t do it. Sometimes, it isn’t until the next day that you realize that you overdid it. But the video surveillance doesn’t show the “after” pictures. The bottom line is stay within your doctor’s restrictions under all circumstances.
Make sure your activities in public are consistent with your injuries. Photos can be taken out of context, so it’s important to not put yourself in precarious situations. Plus, private investigators are trained to get quality photos from over a hundred feet away using a telephoto lens.
Before you find yourself in jeopardy of losing your claim because of photos and videos disproving your abilities, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney. Jim Monaghan is one of the few certified workers’ compensation attorney in the area. Even if you see a lot of lawyers claiming to be workers’ compensation specialists, be wary. They aren’t likely to be certified by the Pennsylvania State Bar Association. Jim Monaghan can put the photos in context and gather opposing evidence to support your claim. Call for a free consultation. Jim works on contingency. That means free initial consultations AND if you don’t get paid, neither does Jim.