Virginia workplace injury attorneys often warn employees that when they file a Virginia Workers’ Compensation claim, insurance companies may hire a private investigator (PI) to try to find damaging evidence.
Even when your injuries and motives are completely legitimate, if you don’t know the Virginia Workers’ Compensation laws or don’t have a workplace injury attorney to counsel you on how to handle matters, a PI could use photos or videos of you to damage your claim.
PIs will try to record you performing activities that negate your Virginia Workers’ Compensation doctor’s orders. For example, they could snap a picture of you going for a stroll at the park or videotape you mowing your lawn and use that to disprove your injuries or form the basis for an argument that you are exaggerating your injuries or not following your doctor’s light-duty limitations. These arguments can destroy your claim, or at the very least, stop your benefits for several weeks or months while these arguments are litigated.
Here are 5 ways that you can protect your claim when the insurance company has hired a private investigator to observe you:
- Stay Knowledgeable – talk to a workplace injury attorney and learn about your rights and pertinent Workers’ Comp laws; it’s the only way to know if insurance companies are bending the rules when it comes to how they use PIs;
- Be Truthful – don’t exaggerate your injuries to your doctor; if the PIs video of you doesn’t match your injuries, your claim could be discredited;
- Be Mindful – always assume you’re being tracked and make sure you’re mindful of your actions in public and at home
- Update Your Doctor – when you perform physical activities, make sure to inform your doctor of it and how it affected your pain; that way, there’ll be a paper trail, and your actions will be accounted for; and
- Keep Calm – if you realize you’re under surveillance, keep calm and don’t make a scene. Just act as you normally would, neither minimizing nor exaggerating your injuries.
If you need to file a Virginia Workers’ Compensation claim, consult workplace injury attorneys before moving forward. They’ll be invaluable when it comes to dealing with insurance adjusters.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.