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Is It True That a Workers' Compensation Investigator Might Follow Me Around?

 Posted on June 24,2022 in Workers' Compensation

Gilroy workers compensation lawyerIf workplace injuries are more common in your line of work, you have probably heard the horror stories. Someone else in your industry got hurt at work, filed a Workers’ Compensation claim, and was awarded temporary disability pay. Then, some private investigator jumped out of the bushes in front of his house, snapped a picture of him doing something innocuous like sweeping his porch, and suddenly his claim has been denied. There is some truth—as well as some misleading implications—in stories like this.

While a Workers’ Compensation investigator may be assigned to your case, your claim is not likely to be denied unless you are seen doing something that your injury should prevent you from doing. If you suspect that one of these investigators has been assigned to your case, it is important that you speak with a lawyer right away and follow their instructions. 

The Role of a Workers’ Compensation Investigator

The goal of these investigators is to identify fraudulent claims. While the vast majority of workers who file a claim through Workers’ Compensation are perfectly legitimate, there are some people who try to take advantage of the system by claiming that they cannot work when they could. 

These investigators are looking to see whether you are doing anything that you should not be able to do with the injury you claimed. For example, if you are claiming that a back injury prevents you from lifting more than ten pounds, and yet you are seen loading 50-pound bags of mulch into your truck outside a hardware store, that might be a problem. 

People who are receiving Workers’ Compensation are not required to stay home and sit on their couches the entire time. You can still do the things you normally would, so long as they are not inconsistent with the injury you are claiming. With the aforementioned back injury, you can be seen carrying five-pound grocery bags home or doing light physical activity in accordance with your doctor’s instructions. 

That said, do not push it if you think you are under surveillance. For the sake of both your health and your claim, comply with any instructions your care providers have given you regarding what type of physical activity you can and cannot do. 

This can be frustrating. You know that loading a few heavy items one time in the six weeks you are out of work is vastly different than spending eight hours a day, five days a week doing heavy lifting. However, a claim review board might not always see it that way. 

Consult a Santa Clara County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you are concerned about the potential for being followed by a claims investigator, Cramer + Martinez can offer you further guidance. Our experienced and understanding Gilroy Workers’ Compensation attorneys will help you navigate this complicated situation while reducing your risk of a claims dispute. Call 408-848-1113 for a free consultation. 



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