Is it possible that the Workers’ Compensation Insurer is using surveillance to follow you?
For a free consultation call Baltimore workers Comp lawyer Mr. Rodabaugh at +1 (410) 937-1659 OR Email
The short answer is YES.
It is quite possible that workers comp is using a private investigator to follow you on various occasions in hopes to catch you doing something physical that could potentially damage your case. On any given day you can bet there is an investigator following some injured worker in Baltimore. Keep in mind if they are not following you there is still a chance that they may be using social media or electronics surveillance.
There are specific times workers comp may be using surveillance
Private investigators are not cheap and the workers compensation insurer is certainly in the business to save money so they choose specific times to arrange surveillance. As a former Maryland workers compensation defense attorney I would always attempt to dispatch surveillance at times when I was certain the injured worker was at a specific place. One very common time is when the insurance company has scheduled an Independent Medical Evaluation (what is an IME). The private investigator will wait for the injured worker to leave his or her house and follow them to the appointment in hopes to catch a change in behavior from the time the worker leaves his house to when he arrives at the IME facility. For example the injured worker may not use a cane exiting their home but will use it upon arrival at the IME.
Another common time to dispatch surveillance is when there is a hearing coming up on the case. Often workers compensation claims fall to the wayside of the defense attorney or insurance adjuster until a hearing is pending. Then they will start actively working the file and realize it may be one that they should attempt to survey.
Should I be concerned that I am or may be followed by a private investigator for surveillance in my workers comp case?
Absolutely. You can be the most honest person at all times and surveillance could still cause substantial damage to your workers comp case. Here is the scenario:
In many if not all of the cases I handle my clients have good days and bad days which result in different physical capabilities each day. Often, that one good day out of the month results in the injured worker doing something more physical than they are ordinarily capable of performing. Perhaps the injured worker is not usually able to take out the trash because of his or her injured shoulder. That one day he ventures to do so. It is inevitably that one day the workers comp private investigator will have his camera rolling.
Six months later the injured worker will be asked, under oath, at a workers compensation hearing, whether he or she is able to take out the trash. The answer- “no.” This answer is relayed because the injured worker has been unable to take out the trash for the duration of the injury which is sometimes a years. That one time trip to the end of the driveway is long forgotten and was not specifically noted by the worker because it was seemingly harmless activity.
Not only is the claimant then viewed as untrustworthy by the workers compensation commissioner, but the insurance company and defense attorney will begin to fight the case even harder.
What should an injured worker do about surveillance
If you feel that you are being followed by surveillance then you should call a Maryland workers compensation attorney immediately. If at anytime you feel as though the investigator is placing you at risk of further injury, or is braking the law then do not be afraid to call the police. It is important to be cognizant of your surroundings when you are under the microscope of “workers comp.”
When asked at a Maryland workers compensation hearing or other proceedings make sure to answer the questions very carefully. If asked about your capabilities be certain in your response. Sometimes it is best to respond with a hypothetical answer such as “I could take out the trash but with lots of pain,” or ” I may have taken out the trash but ordinarily do not because of the pain.”
Retaining a qualified and experienced Maryland workers compensation attorney is the best plan of action and if there are implications that surveillance is being used against you there should be no hesitation in contacting an attorney for a free consultation.