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Why You May Be Watched After Filing for Workers Compensation

Insurance companies and adjusters are known to hire private investigators to follow injured workers around to see if what they are claiming is true or not.

Getting injured at work can take a serious toll on one’s life, and not just regarding their medical condition. Needing treatment and having to miss work to get it can be a stressful ordeal, and your mind may be flooded with negative thoughts at this time.

One comfort employees get is filling a claim for workers compensation, which can help cover medical bills and even account for the days missed from work. But, if after you’ve filled this claims you start feeling as if someone’s watching you, it may not just be in your head.

Insurance companies and adjustors are known to hire private investigators to follow injured workers around to see if what they are claiming is true or not.

private investigator taking pictures of injured worker

Why Does This Happen?

The short answer is: to save money. Insurance companies don’t  like to give money to people, and they really don’t like paying workers compensation benefits to people who don’t need it. So, they hire private investigators to check if the worker making the claim is truly injured or sick.

You don’t have to worry about them coming into your home, or photographing you through the window. In Missouri, surveillance is illegal in places where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

They can, however, record you in public spaces. So, they cannot watch you in your home, but they may film or photograph you on the street. You should know that this practice isn’t done just to see if a person is lying about their injury. Insurance companies can use anything the investigator finds to try to hurt your case, or even potentially dismiss your claim.

Here’s what the investigator might be looking for:

  • Proof you are engaging in activities that you couldn’t otherwise do because of your injuries – if you claim you suffered a leg injury, but are seen riding a bike, the claim may be dismissed;
  • Proof your injuries are not as severe as you claim;
  • Any other activity you may take part in that could serve as a cause to dismiss your claim – if you say that your injuries prevent you from engaging in social activities, but are photographed going to a birthday party for a couple of hours, the company might dismiss the claim.

Not everyone can expect to be put under surveillance. Usually, insurance companies do this for very high claims where the workers are asking for total or partial disability.

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Updated: April 4, 2024