The Use Of Surveillance In A Disputed Workers’ Compensation Claim
Private investigators often help companies to determine if an employee is committing workers’ compensation fraud by conducting surveillance on that particular employee. Private investigators are hired to protect the employers’ interests. Employers and insurance companies utilize private investigators to conduct surveillance of employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims and these investigations are implemented to determine if an employee’s activities outside of work correspond to their work related injuries. Investigators working on behalf of employers use surveillance mechanisms and other tools to help point out instances of fraud.
Employees generally see this activity as an attempt to deny their valid claim under false pretenses. The purpose of this surveillance to try to get video or photographic evidence that the injured employee is, let’s say working for another company while receiving workers’ compensation benefits or participating in an activity that does not correspond to their reported injuries. Private investigators use a variety of tools to help monitor injured employees. They may resort to tactics such as following a target during their time off or when they are supposed to receive medical treatment. The investigator further may take photographs or video of these activities, especially if the activities do not correspond with the reported injuries. Surveillance is sometimes used even if the benefits have been paid in an attempt to help the employer’s case and it is the most common method that investigators use.
Private investigators also monitor employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims by tracking their internet activity. Social media sites may show the injured employees skiing, white water rafting and participating in similar activities after asking for thousands of dollars in benefits for work-related injuries. That is the reason that legal counsel often advise workers who have filed for workers’ compensation benefits to stay off social media. If the injured employee has been provided a cellphone by the employer then these cell phones may be monitored as well. Private investigators may install spyware on these phones in order to monitor an employee’s movements and activities. Private investigators are trained at avoiding detection. They use a number of measures such as wearing glasses and switching them out with sunglasses, wearing baseball hats, different costumes, driving vehicles with tinted windows and using associate investigators to follow a subject etc.
Injured employees can take counter measures in regard to the activities of their employers by being be on the lookout for people who are conducting surveillance. They should follow the orders of their doctor closely and avoid making comments or posts about their injuries, workplace or their activities. Injured employees should hire investigator of their own to determine if they are being followed. Their investigator may inspect a business cell phone or laptop for spyware. Some indications of such apps or software programs are that the device will have a shortened battery life or random noises will be emitted from the device or increased data usage will be observed or strange texts or messages from others may be received. Individuals involved in a disputed workers’ compensation claim should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for assistance.