If you recently filed for a workers compensation claim, you may now you feel like someone’s following you. Well, it may not just be in your head. Many employers or insurance companies go to investigators to check up on people who’ve filled these types of claims to see if what they’re saying about their injuries is actually true. They are also looking for things that could potentially dismiss the claim.
Many workers are understandably outraged by this practice. In terms of its legality, however, it is unfortunately legal for employers to do so, under certain conditions.
There’s a Fine Line
Per the Missouri law, private investigators have the right to follow and take pictures or videos of you as long as you’re in public spaces. As such, any materials they gather while you’re in a park, public institutions, certain parking lots, or the street, for instance, can, unfortunately, be used by the insurance company.
They cannot, however, violate your rights for privacy. If you’re on private property (your home or at a friend’s house, for instance), then your St. Louis workers compensation lawyer can move to dismiss any images taken from these areas.
Another common practice these investigators might freely do is talk to people who know you, and see if the medical condition you mention in your workers’ compensation claim checks out. For instance, if you say the injury prevents you from being on your feet, and the investigator finds out from one of your friends that you played tennis with them just last week, that can prove you lied in your claim, and the insurance company can dismiss it.
If You Feel Unsafe, Act
Many workers don’t know what an investigator can legally do or not, and often these individuals may take advantage of that. As a result, it’s possible for some workers to feel unsafe, or uncomfortable knowing everything they do is being tracked.
If you feel like the investigator is overstepping, you should contact the police and file a report. They can remove the individual of the property, and you can even file a report against them. The investigator can even be arrested if they are breaking the law. Document all the practices of the investigator and hand them to your St. Louis work injury lawyer, as they can use it in the settlement proceedings to potentially negotiate a better deal.
Speak With an Attorney
Unfortunately, you may feel uncomfortable even if the investigator is acting within the legal limits. The truth is, it’s your responsibility to be careful at this time, and not partake in any activity that might jeopardize your workers’ compensation claims.
Speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a work injury. They can help you understand what these activities are. Your lawyer will also move to dismiss any evidence taken by the investigators illegally and advise the right course of action if you feel in danger because of this practice.
Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 for a FREE case evaluation :: (314) 361-4300