If you receive workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, you may be put under surveillance. Insurance companies worry about being defrauded. They might assign someone to keep an eye on you at your house and follow you wherever you go to ensure you are not lying about your injury or state of mind. They may be looking for a “tell” or sign that disproves your claim, such as shoveling snow when you say you have a back injury.
You should protect your rights by understanding what the private investigator can and cannot do when following you.
Can an Investigator Follow Me in My Workers’ Comp Case?
An investigator can do a number of things when surveilling you. For instance, they can shoot video of you when you are in a public space. You can hear a complete breakdown of what is and is not acceptable for a private investigator to do by watching our video, in which John Frommer and Joe D’Amico discuss the legalities of common workers’ comp surveillance tactics. As they note:
- PIs cannot shoot video through a window unless they are standing outside on a public space, such as a sidewalk, and you have left the curtains open.
- PIs cannot come onto your land.
- PIs may knock on your door, but cannot stay unless invited to stay.
- PIs can check your social media accounts if they are public.
- PIs can interview your neighbors and ask others about your activities.
- PIs can follow you to your doctor’s office, the grocery store, and my even follow you inside while you shop.
Many times, you will not even realize you are under surveillance unless the PI is very obvious. In this case, Frommer and D’Amico note, they’re probably not a very good PI.
Common Workers’ Comp Surveillance Tips
If you find you are under surveillance, you may feel nervous or uncertain about what you should do. Should you change the way you act? Should you stay inside all the time? You may worry about what will impact your case.
Your best course of action is to go about your daily business without worrying about the private investigator — with one caveat. Make sure you do not do anything your doctor has told you not to do, or perform any tasks that have not been cleared by your doctor. For instance, if your doctor said you cannot shovel snow, do not dig out your driveway. But if your doctor said it was okay to ride your motorcycle, you can continue to do so, even though that is a riskier activity.
The main thing a private investigator looks for is a violation of the doctor’s orders. Anything your doctor has cleared you to do will be in your medical records and should hold up in court.
Still feel uncertain about what to do if you are put under surveillance during a workers’ comp case? An experienced attorney can advise you on your options. Frommer D’Amico specializes in workers’ comp cases; we know what is and is not legal for PIs to do under surveillance, and we can explain this to you. Contact us online or call 717-400-1000 today to set up a free consultation!
Joe D’Amico has more than 20 years of experience fighting for injured workers. He is Certified as an Expert in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Joe is one of the very few Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys who have obtained a recovery in excess of $1.5 million for an injured worker.
Reviewed by Joe D’Amico.