Q: I'm on workers' comp. Can the Insurance company conduct surveillance on me?
Yes, the insurance company can and will conduct surveillance on you. This means they will videotape and photograph you conducting your activities of daily life. They will often sit outside of your home for a full day to watch if you are coming and going, shoveling snow, or doing yard work. An additional type of surveillance, which can be much cheaper, involves the insurance company viewing your online social media profiles. The insurance company will look for signs that you are not as injured as you claim and argue that you could be working.
Often times the "evidence" the insurance company gathers from placing an injured worker under surveillance isn't very strong but it can be used to challenge your testimony on the issue of the severity of your injury, the injury's impact on your daily life, or the need for ongoing restrictions.
If you are receiving workers' compensation benefits, you should act as if you are under surveillance any time you leave your home. We don't intend to make you feel paranoid, and in most cases you will be abiding by your restrictions anyway, but it is imperative that you follow your treating doctor's restrictions at all times. This means that if you have a low back injury and are not supposed to be lifting anything over 20 pounds, you shouldn't be carrying bags of mulch for a gardening project. You should also change the privacy settings on your social media sites. These sites allow you to be unsearchable and you can set it up so only "friends" can view your profile. Also, be wary of new connections or friend requests while you are on workers' compensation; it may very well be an adjuster trying gain free information to weaken your case.
Generally, an injured worker is trying to get back to work, but even if you have nothing to hide and are focusing on your recovery, surveillance evidence can be taken out of context or misconstrued, leading to a problem for your case.
If you are on workers' compensation and are worried about surveillance, you should contact the experienced team of Harrisburg lawyers at Schmidt Kramer at 717-888-8888.