For years, it has been standard practice of insurance companies and their lawyers to videotape an injured worker or put them under surveillance during a workers’ compensation claim. It surprises many claimants who feel as though their privacy is being violated to learn that there’s nothing illegal or unethical in this procedure. It’s a widely accepted practice.
The purpose of surveillance is to demonstrate any discrepancy in what the claimant says is happening and what he or she is actually doing.
Common workers’ compensation surveillance tactics
In recent years, surveillance has expanded to include the insurance company monitoring your social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat — in addition to photographs and videotape surveillance.
It’s important to be mindful of the photos and statements that you post on social media websites. If something you post contradicts what you tell an attorney at a deposition or through interrogatories, the insurance company will introduce evidence of you doing so.
For example, say you claim that you’re unable to work because of an injury and state that you don’t do anything while at home in a deposition or interrogatories. As a result, the insurance company starts monitoring you to make sure that you aren’t, in fact, working or doing things that you said you cannot. Then, you are photographed raking leaves in your backyard, or post on Facebook status update that you’ve spent all day doing yard work.
In this case, the insurance company can introduce this as evidence, and you will likely lose your workers’ compensation claim.
Keep in mind that truthfulness in actions and words throughout the workers’ compensation claim process is essential.
What to do if an insurance company is spying on you
Most workers’ compensation claims lean heavily upon whether the judge believes and likes the injured worker. Any evidence of you doing an activity that is beyond your ability as you have stated to your doctor, in deposition or during questions will be used against you to show that you have not been truthful.
If the judge believes that you have been untruthful, then it may discredit your entire testimony and result in the loss of your workers’ compensation claim.
Fortunately, the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski are here to help you through the entire workers’ compensation claim process, from beginning to end. Contact Arizona Workers’ Compensation Certified Specialist Robert Wisniewski to make an appointment for your free consultation.