05-14-2012, 12:40 PM (This post was last modified: 05-14-2012 01:00 PM by chrischris.)
RE: Surveillance info.
From a blog about surveillance......
Psssst…..! Who’s that following you?
If you’ve got XXXXXXX Insurance on your case, you can pretty much guarantee it’s a private investigator. Most insurance companies will use private investigators from time to time. But XXXXXX uses them more than any other insurance company we’ve ever seen.
“But I’ve got nothing to hide” you say… That’s not always the issue. Here are a few tips to keep in mind about private investigators:
· They can legally film you, but are not supposed to go onto private property. They sometimes do anyway. If they can see into your house from the street or sidewalk, they will – particularly at night when you have the lights on.
· If you have an attorney, they cannot ethically talk to you. I’ve seen cases where they did telephone injured workers. More than one person has come to me feeling threatened by a private investigator.
· A picture may be worth a thousand words. But a video can really tell as story. And an edited video can tell an outright lie. Many times an insurance company will reduce hours and hours worth of surveillance video into about ten minutes of physical activity. They don’t bother telling the doctor the film was taken over a period of days or even weeks.
· The investigator’s report or video cannot be sent to a doctor without your consent. That’s the law. But many insurance companies and their attorneys routinely break that law. Unfortunately many people at the Industrial Commission let them get away with it. So the adjusters – and again, XXXXXXX is the worst here – keep trying to get away with it.
· The investigator’s report may be a big fat lie. I recently saw a report where the private eye had interviewed my client’s neighbors. The report claimed my client’s parents were on Social Security Disability and his sister also had a worker’s comp claim. The suggestion was that my client was a faker playing the system. The only problem was that my guy didn’t have a sister, his mother was dead, and his father was still working. But the insurance adjuster still wanted to send this report to the doctor hoping that he would return my client to work rather than believing his back was really injured.
· The investigator may be teaming up with your rehab nurse. It is very common for an investigator to film you coming or going from a doctor’s visit, or watching you later that same day. How do they know what day you’re going to the doctor? The rehab nurse tells them. The insurance company is looking for any tiny difference between what you told the doctor you could do and how the private investigator would describe your actions. So you may tell the doctor it hurts when you walk. But the PI will watch you walking to your car and write in his report “the claimant appeared to be pain-free and walked with a natural gait.”
· The investigation is usually several hours long on different days. It’s pretty common for a PI to be across the street before dawn. They’re trying to see if you’re going to some other job or how you’re spending your days.
· The PI knows a lot about you. The adjuster has given him your date of birth, social security number and address. With that he has found where you used to live, possibly talked to your ex-wife, and knows if you rent, own, or have filed bankruptcy. He knows your criminal history.
· The PI has absolutely no interest in being fair or honest. He simply wants to dig up as much damaging information on you as possible. If the adjuster can successfully use that to cut down on your case, she’ll hire him again and again. Mission accomplished.
· The goal is to influence your doctor against you. Keep in mind that your adjuster has hand-picked your doctor already – often because he has a prejudice against injured workers or thinks you are all fakers. So it may not take a lot to turn him against you. In fact, one of Greensboro’s most-used orthopedic surgeons (now retired, thank heavens) would sometimes tell the rehab nurse to privately tell the adjuster to hire a private investigator when he had doubts about a patient.
· Again, this is why you’ve got to stay on top of your adjuster and make sure she isn’t bending the rules in how she uses private investigators.
What can you do to protect yourself? Here are a few tips:
· Avoid any temptation to get the doctor to pay attention to you by exaggerating how bad you hurt. It’s the difference between what you tell the doctor and what he sees in film that can hurt you.
· Know that you are being followed. So don’t be doing things in public that you wouldn’t want your doctor to know about.
· It’s ok to mow your lawn, walk your dog, and go to the grocery store. Just tell your doctor you are doing all that and let him know if it hurts and what you do about it.
· You, or your attorney if you have one, absolutely must be persistent in checking to see if the adjuster is using a private investigator.
· If you realize you’re being followed, don’t make a scene or try to escape. Remember: you’ve got the insurance company’s attention. So if you normally limp, go ahead and limp. If you grab your back when you get out of your car keep doing that. If you stop to take breaks every five minutes while doing yard work, keep doing that. And for heaven’s sake, don’t carry all six grocery bags into the house in a single trip! Yeah, you’re exposed to the camera for longer but there is no harm in carrying in the bags a couple at a time.
· Finally, remember: there’s nothing you can do to prevent the insurance company from using a private investigator. The important thing is that you are cautious and that you don’t let the adjuster get away with misusing the PI’s report.
I'm also posting a discussion we had a few years back. Boy,there are some people on this thread I really miss. Seems like some of the font was scrambled since the original posting date.
Let Go, and Let God......
|Messages In This Thread|
RE: Surveillance info. - chrischris - 05-14-2012 12:40 PM
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