Protect Yourself From Private Detectives in NCIf you are out of work because of a work injury, it is most likely that at some time before your North Carolina workers' comp claim will be concluded you will be under surveillance or followed by private detectives hired by the insurance company. Of course, it is their purpose to videotape you doing physical activity in order to show that you are not disabled and that you are faking your claim.
You should just assume that they are following you every minute because if they are not doing it now, they will surely do so in the future.
There are many things that you are likely to do outside of your house that could be misconstrued as evidence to show that your physical impairments and restrictions are greater than those stated by your doctor.
These private detectives are professionals and are extremely skilled in gathering evidence to use against you.
Workers’ compensation claimants are usually angry when they learn that they are being followed by a private detective. However, this anger should not be directed at the private detectives. They are simply doing the job they were hired to do. It is important to remember that these private detectives have no animosity towards you, they are simply doing their job.
Any anger you display towards these private detectives will almost certainly come back to haunt you. An example of this is the worker who upon realizing he was being followed and videotaped, "mooned” the private detective. Of course, nothing could have pleased the insurance company more. The doctor’s report stated that this worker could not bend over. When the worker bent over to moon the detective, the insurance company then had proof that the worker indeed could bend over. In addition, this worker was charged and convicted of indecent exposure.
The best way to deal with the private detective is to pretend that you do not know they are there. The injured worker should do nothing outside the confines of their home that could be construed as evidence that the worker has physical capacity beyond that being claimed. This means that you should never mow your lawn, rake your yard, take out the trash, wash your car or do anything that even remotely could be construed as physical labor. Be careful when going shopping. Do not carry grocery bags outside. Have somebody do all these tasks for you.
Most injured workers have good days and bad days. The temptation is to overdo physical activity on the good days. If you feel tempted to engage in strenuous activity on your good days, be sure not to do any work outside even work that is within your doctor’s restrictions. It is not worth the chance you take by having this evidence used against you. Learn more tips about dealing with detectives and other steps of the workers' comp process in Raleigh workers' comp attorney Brent Adams' book How to Get Top Dollars for Your Workers' Comp Claim. The book is free to all persons in North Carolina who suffered an injury or illness related to their employment.