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Shocking But True: If You’re Out on Comp, You May Be Stalked, The Dirtiest Workers’ Comp Insurance Trick of All

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It’s bad enough for an employee hurt on the job when the insurance company fights giving you medical treatment or paying benefits. It seems the insurance company will sometimes do anything to avoid paying. If you think they can’t stoop any lower, here’s the shocking truth how low they’ll go.

Private Eyes Are Watching You

The insurance companies will sometimes pay private investigators to follow you, hoping to catch you doing things you say you can’t. That’s right—strangers may be compiling secret video of you, especially if you’re severely hurt. So if you’re out on comp, you should (like the tune from the 80s) always feel like somebody’s watching you. And of course, you may never know—because these guys are good at not being seen.

The Basics Facts of Insurance Company Video Surveillance

Here are the questions you need answers to:

Why would the workers’ compensation insurance company do this?

Because it works. A video of you raking the yard for two hours when you claim you can’t use your shoulder can devastate your case. Of course, if they tape your valiant effort to cut the grass despite your back injury, they can cut the camera off as you limp back inside and won’t be around the next day to see you lying on the couch, immobilized in agonizing pain.

And—not that we’re defending the insurance company—but video surveillance does weed out frauds who lie about their symptoms.

Where will private eyes tail you?

Everywhere, including your home. They’ll follow you driving around town running errands. They’ll even go inside the store to tape you there, and tape you leaving it.

Is it legal for the insurance company to do this?

Mostly, yes. As long as you are being observed outside your home or recorded from a vantage point available to the public, the courts have held you don’t have any reasonable expectation of privacy.

What Can You Do About It?

If you’re honest about your physical limitations and live within them, private eyes and their secret videos can’t hurt you. That implies a couple of rules to live by:

·       Be honest about your limitations, especially with your doctor and if you testify in your case. Insurance companies use surveillance videos to contradict your statements. Sometimes the only defense they have is making an honest person look like a liar, even if you’re not.

·       Don’t exceed your physical limitations, especially medical restrictions set by the doctor. The reason the doctor gives you restrictions is, in his professional judgment, doing more can hurt you. Before you do more, talk to the doctor first. That way, you’ve got medical clearance to increase activity, reducing the risk it’ll make you worse.

Most important, if you’re hurt badly and worried about insurance company tricks, contact us using the electronic form on this page; we can help protect your valuable rights to the most compensation possible. Together we’ll develop a plan to overcome the insurance company using the most powerful weapon of all: the truth.

 

Rob Usry
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Rob is a South Carolina personal injury and criminal defense lawyer.
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