How Workers' Comp Surveillance Tactics Can Affect You
In some cases, the insurer may film you performing regular activities to determine if were truthful about your injuries. Workers' comp surveillance tactics can be used against you, so it is important to be honest. Mr. Fisher is knowledgeable about insurance surveillance and can provide you with further guidance.View transcript
Gilbert Fisher: Sometimes we get people who come in to us and they're concerned because they feel like someone has been following them or they are suspicious that someone from the insurance company is following them. And that happens. Sometimes the insurance company will send out an investigator, and they will park down the street, and use a zoom lens, and try to videotape you out in front of your house doing things. Maybe they'll follow you to the grocery store and use a hidden camera and even follow you up and down the aisles of the grocery store. What they're trying to do is find out what your physical capabilities are. And if for example, you're reporting to the doctor that you can't walk, but yet you're clearly walking across the parking lot to the grocery store without a limp, then they'll take that as you trying to defraud them in the work comp claim, and they'll rush that film to the doctor and try to get the doctor to not believe what you're telling them about the injury. So the most important thing, you know, in a case or after an injury is for you to have a good relationship with your doctor and to focus on getting better. And worrying about someone following you around is one of the things you shouldn't have to worry about. It's important to note that if you suspect someone is following you, and it doesn't happen in a lot of cases, it doesn't even happen in most cases, it's relatively rare, but nevertheless it does happen, and if you suspect that's happening to you, it's important to keep some perspective on that. Number one, as long as you are communicating accurately to the doctor the information your doctor needs to make determinations in your case and to give you work restrictions and to give you the medical treatment you need to get better, then we really don't care or you really shouldn't worry about whether or not they film you. They can film you all day and it's not going to make any difference. But sometimes, and after 18 years of representing injured workers, I've discovered that a lot of times when you're sitting there with the doctor or maybe you're in a deposition with a representative from the insurance company, and they're asking you specifically about the problems and issues that you're having as a result of your case, your mind naturally focuses on the worst-case scenario. And so you think about the bad days, and you think about when you have trouble with this or you have trouble with that, and a lot of times that's all you explain. Well, it seems that most people have good days and bad days, and that their symptoms aren't always constant. They have times when they can get out and do things. And maybe they have to go to the grocery store and get the groceries, so they take some pain meds and they go do that, and they do it okay. And then other times, they can hardly get out of bed. So whenever you're communicating with a doctor or if you're in a deposition and answering questions from an insurance company attorney, it's important to keep that perspective and don't focus just on the worst-case scenario. Make sure that you communicate the full range of your problems, the good days, the bad days, what you do to have good days, and how you act in bad days. And then, if they happen to film you, everything will be consistent. Whenever they film you, you can bet it's going to be on a good day. And if you're only talking about the bad days, and then they send the film over and it's a good day, it's going to look like you're being dishonest. And that's not usually the case. It's rarely the case. Usually, it's just a matter of the injured worker communicating about the bad days and the investigator filming the good days. So make sure if you're worried about it or even if you haven't thought about that issue because of the potential for it, that you always try to communicate to the doctors and to the insurance company through your deposition. Or if you're talking to a claims adjuster, always try to make sure that you give them the full range, the good days, the bad days, and everything in between, so that you don't get caught up in a situation where they think you're trying to defraud them. Narrator: If you or a loved one need help with the workers' compensation issue, call our office today.