Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees who are injured on the job – but insurance companies aren’t known to be particularly trusting of claims. They can and do conduct investigations to determine the legitimacy of claims.
To that end, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to conduct surveillance any time they have a hard-fought claim, and that includes the use of private investigators to monitor the activities of the injured worker – so, yes, the insurance company will spy on you.
What kind of surveillance can you expect?
If you think that you’re suspected of faking or exaggerating your claims, knowing what kinds of surveillance tactics might be used against you can help you protect yourself. Commonly, investigators will use:
- Direct contact: You can find an investigator knocking at your door just to see if you’re home, how you look, how well you move and whether you answer the door easily.
- Online digging: It’s rare, these days, for social media not to be part of someone’s life, and investigators consider social media posts to be potential gold mines. Anything you post yourself or posts you are tagged in have the potential to be used against you.
- Direct surveillance: As long as you aren’t being hassled, investigators are generally free to follow you around and take notes of what you do, where you go, how long you sit or stand someplace, whether you use a mobile cart to do your shopping and so on.
- Video surveillance: This is a long-standing favorite of investigators. They can record you simply going in and out of your door, picking up packages or doing yard work – and if any of that violates your doctor’s orders or reported limitations, that could be a problem.
When you are legitimately injured on the job, you have a right to workers’ compensation. You also have the right to privacy and protection from intimidation. If you feel that you are being unfairly targeted or harassed by the insurance company, it may be time to get legal guidance and find out what can be done to protect your rights and the compensation you’re owed.