Will I Be Followed by a Workers’ Comp Investigator? Date: Jan 23, 2019

After filing a workers’ compensation claim following a workplace injury, you should know that the insurance company representing your employer will gather evidence of the injury before making a decision about your benefits. They can do so by getting copies of medical tests and following through on others methods.

Many clients who come to us at Argionis & Associates ask “Will I be followed by a workers’ comp investigator?” They’re often worried about their privacy and their claim. The short answer is that an investigator may be hired to investigate your claim. Understanding the role of the investigation and knowing what to do can ease some of your concerns.

When Do Workers’ Comp Investigators Follow You?

Any time after you file a claim, an investigator may follow you or investigate you. You’re more likely to be placed under investigation if you have a large claim, have filed claims before or if the insurance company has any reason to be concerned about fraud. However, even if your case shows no red flags, investigators may still be assigned to you. They may be trying to collect evidence that you aren’t injured or are less injured than reported so that they don’t have to pay benefits.

Is A Workers’ Comp Investigator Following Me? What Are They Doing?

Private investigators use many tactics when they’re hired by insurance companies, including:

  • Video surveillance: Investigators may monitor your house and even take photographic and video evidence of you in public spaces, especially if they see something that may be construed as you not following doctor’s orders.
  • Direct contact: Private investigators may call your home.
  • Interviews: Your friends and neighbors may be interviewed by investigators as well as your coworkers and family.
  • Direct surveillance: In some cases, investigators may follow you.
  • Online surveillance: Anything you post on social media may be seen by private investigators. Even if your settings are set to “private,” keep in mind that if anyone you’re friends with reposts your photos or information, investigators may have access to it. They can also monitor your internet activity. For these reasons, you should treat anything you post or search online with caution, assuming it can be seen.

What Can I Do?

You’ll want to do several things after being injured on the job to ensure an investigation cannot derail your right to benefits:

  • Follow your doctor’s orders and restrictions: If your doctor tells you not to walk or perform other activities, avoid those movements entirely, even for short bursts of time. Get your medical professionals to write down every activity that’s restricted, and follow the list to the letter. This way, you’ll reduce your chance of re-injury and complications while also avoiding the risk of investigation.
  • Use social media responsibly: Avoid posting or commenting about your injury online, even if you think you’re using a private or encrypted mode of communication.
  • Assume an investigator is checking your movements: Since there’s no way to know whether you’re under investigation, it may be safer to assume someone is monitoring your claim. That way, you won’t be surprised.

Do You Need Help?

If you’re in danger of losing benefits or need help with the Illinois workers’ compensation process, contact Argionis & Associates for a free consultation. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can travel to you, so you won’t even have to try to come to our offices if you’re too injured to travel.