Surveillance and Workers’ Compensation
While surveillance is not done in every single workers’ compensation case, certainly insurance companies often and regularly perform it to check in on injured workers to see if the injured worker’s activities are consistent with his or her treating doctor’s restrictions and consistent with how the injured worker is portraying himself or herself to the treating doctor.
Helpful tips about Surveillance:
- Surveillance is most commonly assigned to an injured worker’s medical appointments. This permits the investigator to confirm the injured workers identify, note their vehicle, verify the injured worker’s residence, and observe and record his or her level of activity to show the insurance company representative and potentially treating physician(s).
- When surveillance is unsuccessful, and the insurance company captures the injured worker doing nothing suspicious, often a second round of surveillance will be assigned.
- Surveillance investigators can be very inventive and can make up excuses to check on injured workers, perform surveillance over long hours, even on nights and weekends.
- Surveillance is most common to be done on high-value cases before insurers are ready to make a settlement offer. Insurance companies seek reassurance that an injured worker’s symptoms are exactly as portrayed in the medical records and to their doctors often before making significant settlement offers.
- It is critical to follow your authorized treating doctor’s work restrictions. Be honest with your doctor and listen carefully to your doctor’s work restrictions. Proceed with caution especially at the grocery store, when doing family activities and when caring for your home or car.
- A surveillance investigator will look at the social media of the injured worker. Be aware of any friends or family posting photos of you. Do not discuss your claim with anyone in any way on the internet.
It is very important to understand how your case can be impacted if the insurance company raises a “fraud defense” pursuant to Florida Statute Sections 440.09 and 440.105. If the insurance company can successfully prove a person commits fraud under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the right to all benefits will be forfeited. All the Employer/Carrier must do, via its insurance company, is proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the injured worker knowingly or intentionally engaged in one of the prohibited acts under Section 440.105 for the purposes of securing workers’ compensation benefits. Surveillance is one way often used to show misrepresentations.
If you have any questions about surveillance and your workers’ compensation claim, please contact us at Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A. at 9904) 777-7777 for a free consultation or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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