When does workers’ comp hire private investigators?
Workers Compensation - February 12, 2022
Your employer’s insurance company may hire a private investigator anytime after you file a claim. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they suspect fraud or wrongdoing; often, private investigations are just another way to gather evidence against you so insurance can pay as little as possible or cut off benefits completely.
If you were injured at work, you need to act quickly. Contact a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates to learn about your rights and how to file a claim. In the meantime, keep reading to learn when workers’ comp can legally hire private investigators.
Why insurance companies hire private investigators
It’s legal and common for employers and insurance companies to hire private investigators. The purpose of this surveillance is to detect fraud and malingering and to determine the extent of a person’s injury or disability.
In reality, the insurance company is trying to catch you in a lie. They hire private investigators to try and find evidence that you are either not injured or your injury is not related to work, therefore eliminating the obligation to pay workers’ comp benefits.
For example, if you have a back injury, the insurance company may hire a private investigator to follow you and see if they can catch you doing something that could be considered risky or strenuous. They might take photos of you helping a neighbor move a heavy box and use this as evidence to deny your claim.
Avoid falling prey to insurance surveillance
Follow the doctor’s advice
It’s important to seek medical attention after being injured on the job, but even more important is to actually follow the doctor’s advice. This includes going to all of your appointments and following any treatment plan that is put in place.
If you don’t follow the doctor’s orders, the insurance company may use this as evidence to deny your claim. For example, they could argue that your injury really must not be that serious if you don’t have to do what the doctor told you to do.
Hold on to all documentation from your doctor, such as patient visit summaries, prescriptions, and test results. These pieces of evidence will help back up your claim.
Be mindful of your actions
In some cases, the private investigator may try to get someone to say that you’re not badly injured or injured at all. This usually means interviewing your friends and family, hoping they’ll slip and say something that could implicate you.
That’s why it’s important to be aware of how you present yourself in the weeks and months following your accident. It may sound paranoid to think this way, but avoid saying things like “I’m really not that hurt” to your friends and family. Remember, the insurance company can interview them and will listen closely to statements like these.
Don’t speak with suspected investigators and ask your family to do the same
If you think that someone may be a private investigator, do not speak with them. It’s also a good idea to let your family members know that an investigator may approach them with questions. Explain that the investigator will likely make up a backstory, and encourage your family members to be especially wary of strangers until your case is resolved.
It’s important to remember that you have the right to remain silent; you don’t have to give a statement to any investigator, and you definitely shouldn’t give a statement without first speaking with a workers’ compensation lawyer. They will be able to advise you on what you should and should not say to the investigator and to insurance.
Hire a workers’ compensation attorney
If you are dealing with an insurance company that is trying to deny your claim, it is important to have a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.
They will be able to help you navigate the system and get the benefits you deserve. A lawyer can also help to protect you from insurance investigators.
If you think that you are being followed or watched, your lawyer can help to put a stop to it. Do not try to deal with the insurance company on your own.
Think a private investigator is watching you? We can help.
If you are dealing with an insurance company that is trying to deny your claim, it’s important to have a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. A skilled workers’ comp lawyer with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you navigate the system and get the benefits you deserve. call (800) 985-1819 to speak with an attorney and protect your rights.