Use of Surveillance in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Those who are hurt at work are entitled to certain benefits under New York state law. This typically includes the right to paid medical care and temporary disability payments while the worker is off work recuperating from a work-related injury. When he or she has reached a point of maximum medical improvement, other benefits, including permanent total disability or permanent partial disability, may be in order. Of course, the employer and its insurance company may resist a workers’ compensation claim, arguing that the injury about which the worker complains was not work-related and/or that the worker is malingering or exaggerating his or her physical limitations. At the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., our Rockland County workers’ compensation attorneys regularly handle injured workers’ claims, and are accustomed to the tactics that the insurance companies use in these kinds of cases to avoid or reduce their financial exposure. This includes the use of surveillance in workers’ compensation claims by employers and insurance companies.Use of Surveillance in Workers’ Compensation Claims
It is no secret that technology is all around us these days, but many people do not fully grasp the pervasiveness of surveillance techniques, many forms of which may be utilized by those attempting to discredit a worker’s testimony concerning an on-the-job accident and the injuries suffered thereby. From the smartphones we hold in our hand to the security camera mounted at the city park to the GPS device mounted in our car, our comings-and-goings are monitored regularly. Unfortunately, some of this information may be used against workers injured on the job.Social Media, Security Cameras, and Private Investigators
Participating in some form of social media is the norm these days, especially for the younger generations. Users regularly post information about their activities, often including a photo of themselves that is visible to their followers or for the world in general, depending upon privacy settings. One potential problem that can arise from the use of social media is that an employee may give testimony regarding pain or physical limitations due to an injury, but his or her social media postings may show a different story. Video surveillance may be another issue, especially if the employee’s doctor has imposed restrictions such as not lifting something over a certain weight or not being able to perform work in certain positions (such as while standing), but a video from the worker’s gym shows the worker exceeding the supposed restrictions.
Additionally, if the workers’ compensation company hires a private investigator, that person may secretly follow the worker and even film the worker at his or her own home (from a public location, of course) in an attempt to discredit the worker at a hearing. A picture can, indeed, be worth a thousand words, and a video can destroy a worker’s credibility in just a few seconds. If you have been hurt at work, keep this in mind as you go about your daily activities, especially when you are in public view. While not every picture, post, or video is legally admissible in court, most such evidence is admissible and can potentially be very damaging.Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Rockland County
Those who have suffered a work-related accident should consider retaining an experienced work injury lawyer as soon as possible to help them pursue the benefits they may be entitled to, and raise counter-arguments to any evidence derived from the use of surveillance in their workers’ compensation claims. At the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., our team of experienced attorneys is available to represent injured workers throughout Rockland County, New York City, and the Greater New York area, including in Dutchess, Ulster, Westchester, and Orange Counties. We also handle related issues, such as Social Security Disability cases. For an appointment to discuss your case with a helpful and professional member of our team, call us at 845.708.5900, call Valerie 24/7 on her cell phone at 845.598.8253, or contact us online. There is no charge for the consultation, and all workers’ compensation claims, and most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we do not get paid until your case settles or results in a favorable verdict.