Sustaining a workplace injury can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. It can impact your ability to work and earn a living, which can cause financial stress and anxiety. In North Carolina, if you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help you recover from your injuries and cover your expenses. However, sometimes, insurance companies may suspect that an injured employee is not being truthful about their injury or level of disability, and they may resort to surveillance to investigate. If you are being watched or surveilled by your workers’ comp insurer in Charlotte, here’s what you can do.
First and foremost, it’s essential to remain calm and not panic if you suspect you are under surveillance. Surveillance is a common tactic used by workers’ compensation insurance companies to investigate claims, and it does not necessarily mean the insurance company is doubting your injury or your claim. Surveillance may be used to confirm or contradict the severity of the injury, and it is a routine part of many workers’ compensation investigations.
As an injured worker, you have certain rights under the North Carolina workers’ compensation system. One of these is the right to privacy. Workers’ compensation insurers are not allowed to spy on you in a manner that invades your privacy or violates your legal rights. They can only use reasonable methods to investigate your claim, such as video surveillance in public places.
It’s essential to follow your doctor’s orders and take your recovery seriously. If you are under surveillance and are caught doing something that your doctor has advised you not to do, it could be used against you in your workers’ compensation case. Make sure you attend all medical appointments and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
If you are under surveillance, be honest about your activities and limitations. Don’t try to hide or cover up anything, as it may damage your credibility and harm your case. Stay truthful about your injuries and limitations and communicate with your attorney about what’s going on.
Social media can be a double-edged sword. While it’s a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it can also be used against you in a workers’ compensation case. Insurance companies may monitor your social media activity, looking for evidence that contradicts your claim or activities. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid posting anything about your injury or activities online.
If you are under surveillance, it’s critical to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you work through the workers’ compensation system, guide you through the investigation process, and protect your rights. They can also advise you on how to respond to the surveillance and protect your interests.
It’s essential to document everything related to your injury and your activities. Keep a journal detailing your symptoms, pain, and daily activities. This can help you track your progress and provide a record of your activities. If you are under surveillance, make sure to document any surveillance activities, including the date, time, and location, as well as the activities you were doing at the time.
Being under surveillance can be stressful and emotionally draining. It’s essential to seek emotional support from family and friends during this time. Consider joining a support group for injured workers or speaking to a therapist or counselor.
If you are under surveillance, be sure to cooperate with the investigators. Don’t do anything that may seem suspicious or fraudulent. Cooperate with the investigators and answer any questions truthfully. If you have any concerns or doubts about the investigation, consult with your attorney before speaking with the investigators.
A: It’s important to be honest and consistent in your activities when being followed by a private investigator. Avoid doing anything that you’re not supposed to do, as it can hurt your workers’ compensation claim. If you feel that your privacy rights are being violated, speak to your workers’ comp attorney about your options.
A: Yes, it’s not uncommon for workers’ compensation insurance companies to hire private investigators to follow and observe an injured worker’s activities. This is done to investigate the validity of a workers’ compensation claim and to ensure the employee is not performing any work that could interfere with their recovery.
A: No, an employer cannot terminate an employee solely because they have filed a workers’ compensation claim. It is considered retaliation, which is illegal. However, the employer can terminate the employee for other reasons, such as poor job performance or violation of company policies.
A: A ghost policy is a workers’ compensation insurance policy that only covers the owner of a business and not any of the employees. It is typically used by businesses that do not have any employees but are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. It’s called a ghost policy because it’s like having coverage for ghosts, as there are no actual employees covered by the policy.
A: If an injured worker’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits is denied by the insurance company, they have the right to appeal the decision. The first step is to file a request for a hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This is a formal proceeding where the worker and the insurance company present evidence and arguments to an administrative law judge. The judge can then make a decision on the case. If the worker is still dissatisfied with the outcome, they can file an appeal with the North Carolina Court of Appeals. It’s essential to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side throughout this process.
If you’re under surveillance as a result of a workers’ compensation claim or if you’ve been denied benefits, contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler for help. Our experienced team of workers’ comp lawyers in Charlotte can provide the representation you need to protect your rights and get the benefits you deserve. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.