If you are injured at work and unable to do your job for a while, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. That seems like a pretty straightforward concept, but the process of accessing those benefits can be challenging. Often, an insurance company looks for any reason at all to deny a worker’s claim. You should prepare for the things you may face as you navigate the workers’ compensation process, including the ways that the insurance company can intrude on your life.
Why Do Insurance Companies Use Surveillance?
Insurance companies that write workers’ compensation policies ensure their profitability by not paying out any more than necessary. To this end, the company will try to deny or end your benefits by proving that you are not unable to work or not injured as seriously as you claim. Surveillance is one method they use to accomplish this.
What Types of Surveillance Might the Insurance Company Use?
Insurance companies use different types of surveillance, but the most common is hiring private investigators (PIs) to track the activities of a claimant. The company hopes that the PI will find you carrying out some activity that you claim to be unable to do. The investigator doesn’t have to stop with just observation of you. The law allows the PI to carry out any of these activities to capture evidence that you’re falsifying your injury.
- Talk to your neighbors
- Ask personal questions
- Take pictures or video of you as long as you are in public areas
- Pretend to be someone else
- Invent an emergency
Private investigators do not have to tell you that they are surveilling you and usually try to be invisible. However, you may notice a feeling of being watched or followed. Call the police if you need to preserve your feelings of safety.
When Does an Investigator Cross the Line Into Illegal Conduct?
Private investigators are not legally permitted to look into the windows of your house to get those pictures or videos. In most jurisdictions, this is considered trespassing. Notifying the authorities should be enough to stop this behavior.
Where Can I Find Help if an Investigator Goes Too Far?
Good New Jersey work injury attorneys can help you navigate the entire claims process, but a professional can be especially helpful if a private investigator is misbehaving. Since workers’ compensation laws are state-specific, contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney in your jurisdiction as soon as possible to preserve your rights and benefits.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and insurance company investigations.