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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    26

    Default What Rules Apply to Workers Compensation Investigators

    Can somebody please help me understand the thinking when it comes to hiring investigators and what they can and cannot do? I am on my fourth investigator/PI company that I have seen watching me. Not that I am doing anything wrong or something I am not allowed, but it does get very old after a while. I live in a private community, so everyone knows everyone and the cars that belong here. So when I see one follow me on my way to the doctors or therapy or anywhere, I take them on a ride.

    Recently, I went to a family members home and one arrived there, what do they have GPS on my car. All they have to do is call me, I will tell them where to find me. Curious to how they found me there. Doesn't matter. When I got back home, there she was waiting and watching!! My wife thinks I am crazy for confronting them after a while. I keep tabs on names, plates and company they work for. Nothing has ever come about from it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,265

    Default Re: Investigators

    It is a fishing expedition. They hire an investigator to watch you for 2-3 days hoping to get a few seconds of video that show you doing something potentially inappropriate. For example, your doctor says you can't lift more than 10 pounds and they get a brief video of you lifting something that may weigh 11 pounds. They of course edit out the part afterward where you are on the ground in pain as your back goes into spasm.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    517

    Default Re: Investigators

    in the first few weeks after my injury I made a mental note to be careful of being followed. I asked the ortho doc if I could cut the grass ,take out the garbage ,light stuff. he told me I could , so I didn't worry about that. one time I did do something wacky. I bought a new tv. I parked in the garage and closed the dood just incase. yes it hurt but being single at the time I had no choice to do it. imo anyone who does that type of survailance is a low life. YES, there are scammers and the system is the way it is because of them. makes the legit guys/girls who get hurt pay the price

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,265

    Default Re: Investigators

    I have to disagree with you. I firmly believe that even if everyone was completely legit, the insurance carriers would act the same way. This is not about scammers. This is about money and the insurance company wanting to pay as little as possible.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Investigators

    At what point does become it harassment? The other day I was nearly hit when the investigator backed up to follow me. They are getting more and more aggressive with following me, erratic driving etc. They obviously aren't getting what they want and send a new company to follow me. It's been two years.

    I told my wife the next time they follow me (I only go to doctors and PT etc.)I am going to park in front of their lawyer’s office or my old employer and hold a sign begging for change because of the system. Maybe they will film that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,265

    Default Re: Investigators

    They are permitted to observe in public places. They are not permitted to break any laws including traffic laws. If they are driving erratically or dangerously, you can call the police and report it. If you feel threatened or are not sure whether it is surveillance or someone watching your house for more sinister reasons, you can call the police and report it. Not every person in a van with tinted windows has a video camera. Some of them have candy and chloroform.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,089

    Default Re: Investigators

    Worth119
    Can somebody please help me understand the thinking when it comes to hiring investigators and what they can and cannot do? I am on my fourth investigator/PI
    How do you know this is an investigator?
    An investigator would never blow his cover, if he even suspicions you've discovered him - he'll terminate the investigation.
    The reason being once the target knows he's being watched, he'll play to the camera - the investigation has lost it's integrity.

    From what you're describing, I doubt this has anything to do with your claim, if it is an investigator it's for other reasons.
    The carrier won't assign surveillance for longer than a few days, it's too expensive - they sure won't waste money on four investigators.
    As a rule, they'll hire an investigator to validate your claim at the final stage, pre settlement or if they believe your claim is fraudulent.

    People need to be careful around their neighbors, sometimes these investigators will offer them money if they can get an incriminating picture or offer information that can hurt your claim.
    Never announce that you have an open comp claim or share facts about your case with anyone - most people have no use for someone claiming disability, they'll burn you in a heartbeat.
    In the future, call the cops whenever anyone is acting suspicious in your area, don't assume it's an investigator.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,771

    Default Re: Investigators

    I agree with Tim Belt and Tony too. I have seen lots of surveillance during my 20+ years as a work comp lawyer. Most of it is useless. Occasionally a detective will find a gold nugget, though, and it shows up in video or in a photo. But you do need to be aware of how you are presenting yourself anytime you are outside your home, even in your own yard, if you are concerned about investigators and surveillance. And they also have access to all your social media accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram and all the others. Do NOT post any photos of yourself on social media, and don't let your friends or family do it either. And they can even get your private messages sometimes.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Investigators

    Quote Quoting tony View Post
    Worth119 How do you know this is an investigator?
    An investigator would never blow his cover, if he even suspicions you've discovered him - he'll terminate the investigation.
    The reason being once the target knows he's being watched, he'll play to the camera - the investigation has lost it's integrity.

    From what you're describing, I doubt this has anything to do with your claim, if it is an investigator it's for other reasons.
    The carrier won't assign surveillance for longer than a few days, it's too expensive - they sure won't waste money on four investigators.
    As a rule, they'll hire an investigator to validate your claim at the final stage, pre settlement or if they believe your claim is fraudulent.

    People need to be careful around their neighbors, sometimes these investigators will offer them money if they can get an incriminating picture or offer information that can hurt your claim.
    Never announce that you have an open comp claim or share facts about your case with anyone - most people have no use for someone claiming disability, they'll burn you in a heartbeat.
    In the future, call the cops whenever anyone is acting suspicious in your area, don't assume it's an investigator.

    Tony
    Tony, I know for a fact that these four people over time were investigators. I can not release how I know but I get pics of them, make and model of theirs cars and plate numbers and find out who they are and what company they are working for etc. Such as GS Investigations and HUB Ent. to name a few. I don't worry about doing anything that I can't or allowed. I wish I could go out and throw a ball with my kids, but I can't. They follow to doctors and yes sometimes aggressive. I do call the police and my lawyer and all I ever get is, "they are allowed watch you, nothing you can do".

    They must be for my WC case that has been going on two years. I have nothing else going on in my life. I am not a tax cheat or a criminal!! There is no other reason to have me under a watching eye. I am not a exciting person to watch. Maybe my case is complex? I am not sure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,089

    Default Re: Investigators

    Worth119
    Tony, I know for a fact that these four people over time were investigators. I can not release how
    I bet you can't.
    I know for a fact, a carrier isn't going to hire Colombo to follow you for years - you're not that important.

    Even if it was for your claim, they would never follow you like a you're drug king pin or terrorist - what for?
    No investigator that's worth a dime would allow the target to make him - it doesn't happen, it defeats the purpose of the investigation.
    Surveillance isn't cheap, the carrier isn't going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to watch you go to a baseball game or the store - they have better places to invest that type of money.

    They won't waste more than a few days trying to validate your claim - after that, there's nothing more to gain.
    Carriers have been cutting back on surveillance unless they suspicion fraud, it's a waste of time and money - it seldom bears fruit.
    From what you're describing it sounds like you're on the terrorism watch list, or maybe on the FBI's most wanted.
    The problem is they're not that sloppy as to let the target make them - you'd never have a clue that you where being followed.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

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