The Surprising Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Deny or End Your Workers’ Compensation

December 8, 2016

Always be honest when you’ve been hurt on the job. Tell the truth when you tell your employer about your injury, when you see your doctor and get treatment and when you file your workers’ compensation claim. Your employer’s insurance company will be paying for your partial wage-replacement benefits while you convalesce at home, and for your medical expenses, so it is in their interest to verify that your injuries are precisely what you say that they are, so they will be conducting surveillance if they have reason to believe that you are not telling the truth about your injuries.

Although Pennsylvania does have tough laws on video surveillance along with harsh penalties for violating them, the law does allow private investigators who work for insurance companies to surveil workers who have filed disability claims. Under Ch 57 WIRETAPPING AND ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE, investigators are not permitted to enter a claimant property, they may not photograph a claimant in their own home and thy may not harass the claimant. An investigator can follow the claimant when they are out and about in public areas and in full view of anyone and where no one has any kind of expectation of privacy.

In addition to video surveillance in person, insurance investigators can discover a wealth of information about you from doing a background check on you. They can look at both public and private information about you, your personal financial information and your general movements around your home and neighborhood.

Now, you might start feeling paranoid and feel the urge to peek out of your blinds to see if you recognize any suspicious characters around watching your movements. The purpose of this post is not to make you paranoid, but to make you aware of the fact that everything you say on your claim forms, every symptom you describe will be challenged. Insurance investigators will do their best to catch you hoisting huge bags of groceries out of your car after you said that you are unable to life more than five pounds and the reports of severe back pain.

With the popularity of social media and people’s willingness to post all manner of personal information about themselves online along with pictures, well you are almost doing all of the work for them. Do not go through your social media profiles and start deleting updates and pictures, but also do not post anything that could be misconstrued or used against you in your disability claim. In other words, lay low on social media. (And for goodness sake, do not announce that you are laying low, either.)

If you notice a suspicious looking person with a wide-angle lens on your street shooting pictures, you are free to call the police, but do not confront them. As long as you have been transparent in all of your reporting of your injury, and you are not jogging every morning when you have reported a torn ligament in your knee, then the surveillance guys will have nothing incriminating to report.

If you are dealing with a dispute about your workers’ compensation benefits, the dedicated Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at the law offices of Larry Pitt & Associates is here to be your strong advocate. We listen to your questions, and we offer you the specific legal guidance and support that you need. You are welcome to contact us or call 888.PITT.LAW to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Philadelphia. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.