April 27, 2017

Video Surveillance Most Likely being Used in Your Case

Back in March, 2011, I released a video on YouTube called Beware of Insurance Company Surveillance.  In that video, which you can view here, I pointed out that workers compensation insurance companies and defense lawyers here in Georgia often use private investigators to follow injured workers for the purpose of catching them engaging in activities inconsistent with their doctors' s restrictions.  I pointed out that I always tell my clients to assume that their are being surveilled and to follow their doctor's advice to the letter, even if my client is having a good day or needs to lift or climb "only once."   If the insurance company happens to be filming that day, then that "only once" activity may sink my client's case.

Following my release of this video about surveillance, I received several somewhat hostile and accusatory comments suggesting that I was advocating workers' compensation fraud or that my discussion of surveillance somehope proved that most or all workers' compensation claimants were dishonest.  These comments missed the mark completely.

I produced this video simply to demonstrate to my clients and others that surveillance is real and likely and that private detectives do exist and that you are not likely to know they are there.   Here is a comment from a private investigator who writes as follows:

I am a private investigator, and the biggest mistake a claimant will make, is posting pictures on social networking sites showing the world what they are doing or shouldn't be doing. I catch these people all the time just from a Facebook Posting. .. If I were watching you, I guarantee you, that you would never know it…

My point here is simple:  if your physician sets out restrictions – lifting, walking, sitting, standing, etc. – follow those restrictions.  Presumably your doctor set out those activity limitations to help you get better.  If you engage in activities that exceed the restrictions set out by your doctor, you will impair your healing and you will most likely get caught on tape.  A better course of action would be to call your lawyer to discuss how to approach your doctor about modifying your activity limitations.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have received surveillance tape (now supplied on CDs) that had made me question my client's veracity.  I do not want fakers or fraudsters as clients.  I do want legitimately injured workers to recognize that their activities videotaped on a good day will impact their case, but the three days that worker spends in bed recovering after overdoing it will not be documented. 

Here is a follow-up video I recently produced that continues the discussion about surveillance:

For more on this topic visit this page on my web site.

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Jodi Ginsberg

Attorney Jodi Ginsberg represents employees who are injured on the job and who need medical care and missed wage benefits available under Georgia's workers' compensation laws.

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