Who is watching the private investigators?

How insurance company activity checks and video surveillance cross ethical and legal boundaries.

I had the displeasure of watching another surveillance video last week. My client was filmed clearing snow off his car before a scheduled medical appointment. Defense counsel insists the video proves he is exaggerating injury. Total nonsense!

Private investigators are routinely hired to perform surveillance. Insurance companies want to find proof that a workers compensation claim is not legitimate. Video is often taken out of context and used as a defense in court.

We tell our clients to live their lives but don’t do any activity that is inconsistent with restrictions. Here are some ways to better protect your privacy during a workers compensation case.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times

We have seen private investigators follow people to medical appointments, family events, vacation homes, and even to our law office. Some clients have been filmed in their garage, through windows at stores, and at restaurants.

Your neighbors may be interviewed about your comings and goings. A private investigator even lied to a doctor’s office, claiming to be a relative, just to find out when the next medical appointment was scheduled. Scary stuff!

Remain cautious when out in public or if working outside your home. Close blinds and keep the garage door shut. Ask friends and neighbors to help with lawn care or home maintenance. Don’t give the insurance company an excuse to deny benefits.

Shut down social media websites

Some insurance adjusters don’t even bother to hire professional investigators to perform activity checks. Facebook and Twitter will be scoured for any incriminating pictures or comments. Snap decisions will be made about paying wage loss and authorizing medical treatment.

We recommend that you deactivate social media accounts until after the claim is resolved. Don’t rely on privacy settings as these can be manipulated. For example, friends of friends can see what you post on Facebook. An investigator could trick a friend into granting access to their page allowing access to everything you have posted on your page.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our Michigan workers comp lawyers. We can make sure that your legal rights are protected. Don’t let the insurance company abuse your privacy.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

How your employer can use Facebook against you

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by eriwst.

Injured On The Job: A Guide to Michigan Workers Compensation Law Injured On
The Job
A Guide to Michigan Workers Compensation Law Free Book
Free Consultation