It is common for insurance companies to hire private investigators to videotape injured workers in an attempt to catch them exceeding their doctor’s restrictions. The size and cost of video cameras has been reduced and insurance adjusters step up their efforts to videotape injured workers exceeding their doctor’s restrictions, even if it is only for a brief moment. Every time you are outside your house it is best to assume that a private investigator hired by the insurance company may be videotaping you. Private investigators routinely follow injured workers to stores in an effort to catch them carrying out heavy groceries or shopping bags to the car to prove that they are capable of exceeding their doctor’s restrictions.
If you determine that you are being videotaped, (the odds are you will not, because the private investigators are very sophisticated) the best thing to do is pretend that you do not know they are there. Do not use profanity or flip off the private investigator as this will not put you in a good light in front of the arbitrator if your case proceeds to a hearing.
Private investigators enjoy videotaping injured workers mowing their lawn, even if it is just for a short period of time. Private investigators will spend hours on a “stakeout” in an effort to get a minute or two of videotape of an injured pushing his lawnmower in an effort to bar or reduce the value of the case, even knowing that an injured worker has good days and bad days and the fact that an injured person may have only been pushing the lawnmower for a very short period of time.
Investigators stage bogus contests allowing the injured worker to win a gift such as a case of pop or a 20-pound frozen turkey. When the injured worker appears to claim the prize, he is videotaped carrying the case of pop and/or bag of groceries and/or frozen turkey out to his car.
Investigators will stoop so low as to drop a few dollar bills near the injured worker’s car in an effort to catch the injured worker bending over to pick up the dollar bills when the injured worker’s doctor restrictions state that he is unable to bend over.
Investigators may pay a neighbor or a co-worker to videotape the injured worker doing an activity in which the injured worker’s doctor recommended that he could not perform. They may also pay a co-worker to telephone the injured worker under the false pretense that the co-worker is concerned for the injured worker’s condition to inquire what the injured worker has been doing while he’s off on worker’s compensation and receiving TTD benefits, hoping that the injured worker will misspeak stating that he has performed an activity that exceeded his doctor’s recommendations.
Investigators may take the air out of an injured worker’s car or truck tire, hoping to videotape the injured worker changing the tire.
If you feel your worker’s compensation claim is being unfairly delayed or denied call the Illinois worker’s compensation lawyers at Robert Edens Law Office in Antioch at (847) 395-2200
(Content updated on 12/2/2021)