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Will Workers Compensation Hire a Private Investigator?4 minute read

Insurance companies often hire private investigators to follow people after they get hurt at work.  Many people have questions about what this means and how it will affect your workers compensation case.  This article provides some basic information about why insurance companies do this and how it can affect your workers compensation case.

Why do insurance companies hire private investigators?

Insurance companies are businesses.  As for profit businesses, one of their goals is to make money.  When people are receiving workers compensation benefits after an injury, it costs the insurance company money.

Male private investigator taking picture from car with camera

When they hire private investigators, insurance companies hope that they will obtain information to show that someone is not as hurt as they claim to be.  That information could include any of the following:

  • Observations made by the private investigator that are documented in the investigator’s written report
  • Pictures taken by the private investigator showing you performing activities that your injury should prevent you from doing
  • Videos taken by the private investigator showing you performing activities that your injury should prevent you from doing

So, the insurance company hopes that the private investigator will observe you doing things that you should not be doing.  If they get pictures or videos showing this, they will try to use this information to get your workers compensation benefits stopped.

Will it hurt my case if the insurance company hires a private investigator?

Not necessarily.  It will depend on whether the private investigator gets information showing that you performing activities that you should not be doing while injured.

Generally, this involves you doing activities that your doctor would tell you not to do.  For example, let’s say your workers compensation doctor recommends that you not lift over 20 pounds as a result of a back injury at work.  If the private investigator videotapes you lifting 50 pound bags, that will likely hurt your case because you are doing more than your doctor says you should.

So, one of the most important things is to make sure that you exceed what your doctor tells you to do.  Sometimes, people do more than they should because they have something they need to do around the house.  Often, when someone does a little bit more than they should, their injury affects them for several days after that.

The problem is that a private investigators videos or pictures do not show what happens afterward.  The videos and pictures only show you doing the activity.  They do not show the after effects of doing that activity.

Grandmother working with granddaughter in garden

Because the video only shows you doing more than you should, the insurance company will use that try to argue that you could do that sort of activity all the time.  They will also often send the videos or pictures to your workers compensation doctor to try to get the doctor to say you have recovered from your injury.

This can really hurt your case because your workers compensation doctor has great power to affect your rights to receive workers compensation benefits.  What your workers compensation doctor says about your case can cause your benefits to stop and keep you from getting medical treatment.

Will the insurance company tell me if they hire a private investigator?

No.  The insurance company will not tell you if they hire a private investigator.  The insurance company does not want you to know this.  They want to have the private investigator observe you without you knowing that you are being watched.

The goal of the insurance company when they hire a private investigator is to get evidence that will allow them to stop paying you workers compensation benefits.  You do not want your workers compensation benefits stopped before they should be, so the insurance company does not want you to know that they are trying to get information to stop your benefits.

Can I prevent the insurance company from hiring a private investigator?

No.  The insurance company can hire a private investigator to investigate your case.  You do not have control over that.

But, the law does limit what a private investigator can do.  This website has some helpful general information about what private investigators can and cannot do.  The laws that apply vary by state.

If a private investigator does not follow the law, you may have remedies for that in your workers compensation case.  Also, the private investigator’s action could give rise to another case that you could pursue against the private investigator or others.  Be sure to check into this if you become aware that a private investigator has done something against the law.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
moombimoombi
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.
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