It’s not uncommon, or illegal, for an insurance company to hire a private investigator to follow employees who have filed for workers’ comp benefits.
Most workers think that after they file a worker’s comp claim, all they have to do beyond that is wait and get the treatment they need. Unfortunately, things are not always that easy, especially when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. It’s well-known they have a habit of monitoring injured workers to try and find out anything they can to give them cause to fight the claim and even deny it completely.
Here are some common tactics the insurance company may use:
Hiring a Private Investigator
You’d think that PI’s are mostly prevalent in action and crime movies, but injured workers can sometimes start to notice someone following them. This is because the insurance company wants to know exactly what you’re doing, and how you are behaving outside of the doctor’s office.
For instance, if you are more active than usual, or taking part in any activities that are against the doctor’s orders. While it’s illegal for anyone to take surveillance photos of you in your home or on private property when you’re in a public place they can.
Looking Through Social Media
Social media can be a great tool for just about anyone to see exactly what you’re up to. Don’t assume the insurance company can’t see anything just because your posts are private – they may even create fake accounts and use them to follow/friend you, or ask someone in your group for details on everything you post. It’s best to stay off social media for a while.
Talking to People Around You
Your close friends and family may know better than to talk to the insurance company about you, but what about other people? Like that neighbor you don’t talk too that much or that cashier you see almost every day? They could be contacted by the insurance company to try and gather information about you.
Talking to Hospital Staff
In Missouri, your employer has the right to choose your worker’s comp doctor, though they usually leave that to the insurance company. Adjusters will then generally have a report with a particular hospital, and while your doctor may not give away any private health information for legal reasons, other staff members may be more close to the company. Even other patients could give the company more information than you’d like them to know.
Record Your Calls
It’s best to avoid talking to the insurance company without your St. Louis work injury lawyer present. They will try to contact you on more than one occasion, but they may not let you know the phone conversation will be recorded.
Contact Your Work Comp Lawyer
If you have filed for workers’ compensation benefits and you have any questions regarding your case, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. You should be receiving treatment for ALL of your injuries, not just the ones the insurance company wants to accept. Do not let the carrier deny you benefits.
In addition, you need to make certain you have a good doctor working for your interests, not trying to make the insurance company happy so that they can maintain a good relationship with the carrier.