Your Rights to Privacy After Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim
Many workers become injured on the job. This not only affects your job security and earnings potential, but causes financial burdens at home as well. Workers’ compensation is a method of helping workers who are hurt at the workplace or who develop medical conditions due to the nature of their jobs. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney soon after the accident or diagnosis will help you through the complicated process of filing a claim and getting the benefits you and your family deserve.
However, insurance companies that pay these benefits are in the business of making money and often do their best to end, delay, or change the benefits you are entitled to. Insurance companies try to prove that you are not injured or that you are not as harmed as you claim and that you are able to continue working. One way insurance companies do this is with surveillance.
Surveillance can take many forms. In most cases, insurance companies hire private investigators to follow around workers who have filed for benefits. The insurance companies hope to get evidence of you doing physical activities your claim states you cannot do. The investigators can photograph or videotape you while in public. They can talk to your neighbors and ask personal questions. Investigators can even fake emergencies or pretend to be someone else all to get evidence that you are not seriously injured. If an investigator does obtain such information, it is shown to the judge during the court case and can damage your claim or greatly reduce your benefits.
While having an investigator following you around and taking photos or videos of you as you go about your day is an invasion of your privacy, the law allows insurance companies to do this. Most investigators are trained to remain in the background, so you might not even know you are being watched, but you might have a feeling of unease when outside your home. If this happens, call the police and tell them you think you are being followed. You have a right to feel safe in your community and in your home.
Some investigators are bold enough to look into the windows of your home to take pictures or videos of you. This action breaks a few laws including trespassing. Again, if you notice someone spying outside your window, call the police. Once the police are notified, the investigator usually stops because he realizes that you know you are being watched.
Having someone following you around is stressful and invades your privacy, which is why it is important to contact the police and also your attorney. A workers’ compensation lawyer helps you to get the benefits you need due to lost wages and medical expenses, and also helps to protect your rights including the right to privacy.