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Workers’ Compensation Claimants Should Beware of Summertime Surveillance

It’s summertime.  You want to spend as much time outdoors as possible.  Camping, swimming, golfing.  The list of summer activities in Central Pennsylvania is endless.  But if you’re collecting workers’ compensation wage loss benefits, you should be aware that the insurance company very well may be conducting surveillance on you.  

Some Claimants believe that they cannot be taped without their prior knowledge or permission.  This is not true.  If you are in public or in plain sight, you may be surveilled and videotaped.  Private investigators often follow Claimants to and from work, to and from the doctor’s office, to or from workers’ compensation hearings, anywhere else they might be going. The more you collect in wage loss or indemnity benefits, the longer you are on workers’ comp, the more likely you will be surveilled.  

Surveillance videos and reports are usually not going to be enough to suspend/modify/terminate your benefits but it can be used to show that you are either exaggerating your symptoms, lying when testifying before a workers’ compensation judge, or that you are involved in above and beyond your work restrictions.  In any of these situations, a video of you doing things that you shouldn’t be doing will hurt your case.  

This is not to say that you need to stay indoors at all times during the summer.  Just remember that your work restrictions need to apply to all aspects of your life, especially those that take place in public.