Do Workers’ Comp Insurance Companies Put Injured Workers Under Surveillance?
In the best-case scenario, a worker who suffers a job-related injury notifies their employer and files their workers’ compensation claim. The claim is then approved and the employee is allowed to take the time needed to recover from their injury, receiving their weekly benefits and having their medical expenses covered 100 percent by their employer. Unfortunately, as an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can attest, this process rarely goes that smoothly. This is often due to the fact that employers and insurance companies do all they can to deny injured employees the benefits they are entitled to under Illinois law.
Denying Claims Based on Surveillance
Workers’ compensation insurance companies are notorious for denying legitimate job injury claims so they can protect their profits. They will do all they can to “prove” that the worker is not really injured. They often insist that an injured worker be examined by a doctor on their payroll who may downplay the actual diagnosis the injured worker has been given by their own physicians.
Another common way that insurance companies try to prove a worker is faking or playing up their injury is by putting the worker under surveillance to try to catch the worker engaging in some kind of activity they are not supposed to be able to because of their injuries.
Insurance company investigators may either work directly for the company or they may be outside companies hired by the company to keep the worker under constant surveillance. These investigators will sit outside the worker’s home and follow them if they leave their home, documenting every place the workers goes and activities they engage in through notes, photos, and videos.
Many investigators will even try posing as someone else and attempt to question the worker’s neighbors, family members, friends, and anyone else the worker may engage with, trying to trick them into providing some kind of incriminating “evidence” against the worker.
Is Watching Workers Even Legal?
Unfortunately, this type of surveillance is not only legal in Illinois, but anything investigators may come up with can even be introduced as evidence and used against the injured worker. This evidence can also be skewed to make it look like the worker really is not injured and is faking, such as photos taken at certain angles to make it look like the worker is engaged in an activity their injury is supposed to be preventing them from doing.
Contact a Kane County Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you have been injured on the job, make sure you have the protection provided by an Aurora, IL work injury attorney. Call Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out how our law firm can help.