After you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to privacy just as you were before the claim, but that might start to look a little different for you. Before your accident, you never had to worry about someone keeping an eye on your life and your habits because there was no reason for anyone to do so. Now that the insurance company is trying to protect themselves against potential false claims, there may be someone watching your public interactions.
What an Insurance Company Can Do Legally
The workers’ compensation insurance company will want to look out for themselves to ensure your claim is legitimate. Every year they lose money to false claims, so it’s understandable they wish to do this. In most cases, once they determine your injuries and your claims are real, the surveillance will discontinue. Some tactics they can legally perform include the following.
- Running a background check
- Surveying your home
- Searching your public social media posts and comments
- Taking pictures and videos of you when you’re outdoors
- Ordering medical evaluations of surveillance video of you
- Following you to doctor appointments
- Talking to coworkers and neighbors
Insurance company investigators are not allowed to do anything illegal. This includes trespassing on your private property, tracking your car, entering your home without permission and hacking into your email account. In some states, they are allowed to take photos of you while you’re in your own home, as long as it’s a clear view through a window from public property. This is illegal in other states.
What You Should Do
Because there are so many tactics the insurance company is allowed to employ, it’s important you understand the legal rights they have. If they do even one small thing that is against the law, it could make all of their evidence inadmissible in court. Any time you see the investigator or find out they’ve been snooping around, write down exactly when, where and what they were doing.
You should also be careful not to do anything beyond the recommendation of your doctor. Don’t do anything that could remotely look like you are. For example, if you are told not to lift anything above five pounds, but an investigator takes a picture of you carrying a large box into your home, it could be used against you. What the picture doesn’t show is the box was empty, but you may not have any way to prove that.
Contacting the Professionals for Assistance
Being in the middle of a workers’ compensation lawsuit is often made easier when you have the assistance of a qualified Fort Lauderdale work injury lawyer. Contact your lawyer today for help understanding your rights.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and privacy.