Is surveillance of injured workers allowed under the law? Yes. As long as the surveillance company is not on your private property. Why is surveillance done? Because the employers and insurers want to see if an injured worker is doing any activities that are inconsistent with the purported injuries.
Will you be able to review the surveillance video and report? Absolutely. If the insurer or employer wishes to use the surveillance as evidence in your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case, you will have the right to review it to 1) see if it’s in fact you depicted in the video and 2) explain what you were doing.
I get surveillance videos approximately ten times per year. However, it is rarely effective in damaging my cases. As I always note, most people are honest and are doing activities consistent with what’s reported to the doctors. I always tell my clients that just because you are on video carrying coffee and bread while walking out of a convenience store doesn’t mean you’re able to do your pre-injury job for eight hours- a job that may require much more significant physical exertion such as heavy lifting, bending, twisting, etc.
I have many clients who actually catch the surveillance company spying on them- some clients have even called the police- to be sure that it wasn’t something or someone with bad intentions. However, in most cases, the surveillance is done effectively in the sense that the injured worker isn’t aware it’s taking place.
If you have been given surveillance video or reports by your Pennsylvania Work Comp Attorney, make sure to review it. I have had several cases where the person depicted was not my client, but in fact a sibling or a parent who just happens to look like my client. Don’t assume it’s you until you actually confirm it.
Many clients will ask me, “Should I stay inside as my case is progressing?” The answer, in my opinion is no. Do what you can do. In 99.9% of cases, the injured worker is not claiming that they literally cannot move. If your job requires lifting heavy boxes all day, then sitting on a lawnmower and mowing your grass isn’t inconsistent with being unable to do your job. Everything has to be put into context. There is no rule stating that you cannot go out to a movie or dinner merely because you’re on, or seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
For more information about surveillance in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases, call Certified Work Comp Attorney Michael W. Cardamone 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC
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