Surveillance in Workers Compensation Claims

The goal of the insurance company in your workers’ compensation case is to defend the claim and pay as little out as possible.  Insurance companies are for-profit entities, and will pull out all of the stops to save money, including placing you under surveillance.  After you file a claim for benefits, it very common for the insurance company to hire a private investigator to follow you around for a period of time and observe your activities.  If you are caught on camera engaging in an activity that is contrary to your work limitations or contrary to the complaints you are making, the employer/insurer will file for hearing and ask a judge to suspend your benefits. Most likely, this surveillance will occur for only a 1-3 day period, and often occurs when you initially file your claim or prior to a hearing on your claim.

So what can you do to avoid hurting your claim due to surveillance?   I tell my clients to live your life to the best you can despite your injuries and do not let the fear of surveillance cause you to constantly look behind you or cause excessive worry. Just DO NOT engage in any activity that is contrary to your work restrictions or your complaints of pain.  If you are complaining of severe lower back pain, don’t attempt to wash your car.  If you are complaining of knee pain, don’t be outside in the flower bed bending and stooping.  Otherwise, you may jeopardize your claim for benefits and a potential settlement.  

If you have been injured on the job and would like a free consultation, contact me today.

Christopher J. Hudson
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Local Augusta lawyer specializing in workers' compensation, car accident and personal injury claims.