Surveillance is a tool employers/insurers sometimes use in Georgia workers’ compensation cases. An insurer might hire a private investigator to conduct surveillance on you, essentially hoping to catch you in the act of doing something your doctor has advised against or a limitation you said you had. If they do collect photos or videos of you acting outside of your purported limitations, the surveillance can be used as evidence and can be damaging to your case to the point that an insurer denies your claim.
Being Mindful of Possible Investigations
While you don’t want to become paranoid or live your life in fear of making a wrong move, it is important to keep in mind that when filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may, at any time, be under surveillance. Investigators tend to conduct surveillance around your home and while you travel to and from medical appointments. Insurers are provided a list of your medical appointments, so they can relay your whereabouts to investigators easily. The opposing parties anticipate catching you doing something such as taking out the trash, doing yard work, or bending down to pick up your child – things your doctor may have told you not to do.
Without a doubt, this type of surveillance can be damaging to your case because photographs and videos don’t show the whole picture. They don’t show that the trash you were carrying was extremely light, that taking pain medication masked the pain long enough for you to play with your child outside for a while, or that you simply were having a good day. Surveillance is often misconstrued and potentially can lead to your claim’s demise.
Advice for Workers’ Compensation Claimants
Insurers tend to employ investigators when a hearing or mediation is approaching. The best advice is to adhere to your doctor’s orders strictly without exception and to stay mindful of possible surveillance.
When you enjoy your work and have always been a hard worker, it can be frustrating to take time to recuperate and follow your doctor’s restrictions. You may feel antsy while having to take time off of work and try to push the envelope, doing too much too soon. Not only do you risk worsening your condition if you do this, but you also risk hurting your claim. Your best bet is to take it easy until the doctor clears you for activity and to releases you to work.
If you suspect that you’re under surveillance, call Bader Law Firm, LLC,in Atlanta. Let us review your case, help you prepare for the hearing and protect your rights. Contact us today at 678-562-5595 for a free consultation.