Cramer and Martinez

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Help! I Think My Workers Compensation Insurer is Spying on Me!

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Santa Clara County workers' compensation lawyerAn employee who suffers a work-related injury or illnesses is likely to be entitled to financial compensation through their employer's workers' compensation insurer. The injured person may be eligible for benefits to cover medical expenses such as hospital care and medication, as well as part of their lost income and other considerations.

Unfortunately, recovering compensation through workers' compensation is not always straightforward. Many different issues may complicate the process. Employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies may attempt to reduce or eliminate the employee's workers' compensation benefits. Sometimes, insurance companies even conduct surveillance on injured employees, ostensibly hoping to prove that the employee is not as injured as they claim to be.

Workers' Compensation Surveillance Tactics

Insurance companies seek to minimize payouts to injured employees whenever possible. One way insurance companies may try to get out of paying workers' compensation benefits is to challenge the validity or extent of the employee's injuries. The insurer may conduct surveillance of the injured person in an effort to "catch" the employee acting in ways that suggest their injuries are fabricated or exaggerated.

Investigators for the insurance company may follow an injured employee and watch where they go and what they do. The investigators may also take pictures and videos of the worker. The purpose of these investigations is to look for evidence of workers' compensation fraud. For example, investigators may witness someone lifting heavy objects or riding amusement park thrill rides, despite the person’s claim that they are suffering from severe, debilitating back pain. The investigators may take a video of the person and use it to argue that their back pain is not as severe as they claim. Sometimes, investigators even talk to the injured worker's friends and family to gather more evidence against the person.

You may be surprised to learn that this type of surveillance is completely legal. The evidence collected by the insurance company may be presented to the California Division of Workers’ Compensation and used as justification for a denied claim. In extreme cases, claims that are found to be fraudulent can even be prosecuted by the state.

Contact a Santa Clara County Workers' Compensation Lawyer

Workers' compensation provides injured employees with financial reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages. However, the process of recovering compensation is often complicated and frustrating. If you were hurt at work, contact Cramer + Martinez. Our Gilroy workers compensation attorneys understand the tactics that insurance companies use to try to avoid paying employees what they are owed. We can advocate on your behalf and protect your rights. Call 408-848-1113 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/

http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0300-fraud/0100-fraud-division-overview/10-anti-fraud-prog/Workers-Comp.cfm

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