Assume that a Private Investigator is Following You Around with a Video Camera
Workers’ compensation insurance carriers regularly use private investigators to follow and videotape claimants. This surveillance is designed to catch you performing physical activities inconsistent with your claimed injuries.
I have seen surveillance tapes of clients:
- in grocery store parking lots
- doing yard work
- changing the oil in their vehicles
- shopping at the mall
- driving your children to school
- cheering at their child’s high school football games
It does not matter that you may have been having a good day, or that after you performed a taped activity that you ended up in bed for a week. You have probably heard the expression that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and I can tell you that a surveillance tape of you engaging in an activity that is not consistent with your injury can greatly reduce the settlement value of your case, or could even result in a termination of benefits and outright denial of your claim.
Here, for example is a YouTube video produced by an Ohio private investigator firm which shows an actual example of surveillance video, that was used to catch a claimant there who was apparently exaggerating her injuries. In the video you will see her walking without pain, grocery shopping and loading her car. This individual had no idea that she was being followed and videotaped.
I all all of my clients to assume that a private detective is following them around. Even if you are feeling unusually good on a particular day, you engage only in activities that are within the lifting and activity limitations set out by your doctor.