Workcover and Private Investigators: the truth

private-investigator-snooping

Private investigators are regularly used by workcover insurance companies and here we expose how they will try to catch you. This information has been provided to me through a friend of a friend who’s husband works in the “field”.

Private investigators (and firms) are judged and rated by workcover insurance companies on their ability to “assist in reducing liabilities“. If the chosen private investigator (or the firm) fails to provide -what they call- “positive results” on a consistent basis, the private investigator (or firm) will simply be replaced by someone who will provide “positive results”.

The term, “positive results”, simply means the documentation that is required to reduce or eliminate claims.

 

Private investigators are routinely asked or forced to violate the rules, guidelines and ethics. They are often requested to skirt the laws and violate rules of evidence to defend a claim.

According to my source, the most common request by workcover insurance companies is for “selective” evidence gathering.

By selectively choosing the evidence obtained by video the private investigator will most likely fail to represent the true picture regarding an individual’s physical abilities.  This ultimately leads to a decision based on what “the workcover insurnace company” thinks is important.

Private investigators are supposed to be unbiased fact gatherers and are not to ignore any evidence discovered. They should only be concerned with the information needed to evaluate the true abilities of an individual and not try to present a one-sided view of the person they are investigating.

I have been told that there are even defense lawyers (who work for workcover insurance companies) who make unethical and illegal requests; asking private investigators to assist in “tipping” the scales to their benefit, as well as, claims reps who think nothing of violating privacy laws to obtain any information that might assist in the resolution (closure) of a claim.

The private investigator who provided this information told us that they were taught how to “rope” an injured worker/claimant, using various tactics to entice a Claimant to perform activities he/she claimed they couldn’t do. The private investigator personally has carried things like loose coins (money), an oil can, water balloons, a bicycle, a skateboard, and even “tools” matched to a specific claimant and their family.

Items such as those listed above can almost always create a “circumstance” that leaves a claimant vulnerable when interpreting the videotaped activity. Imagine the following:

  • Opening your front door and finding a walkway and/or front yard littered with coins (money) – to catch an injured person with a bad back bend!
  • Walking to your vehicle and finding you have a flat tire (usually rear passenger side) while away from home -to watch you bend/squat!
  • Having a full water balloon land and splatter a few feet behind you as you walk through a parking lot!
  • a sudden blast from a horn, or someone screaming your name!

All these “roping techniques” (which are illegal by the way) will undoubtedly provide the necessary “positive result”, captured as “that one-shot” on video.

Injured workers will often describe or use terms like, can’t bend over, use my hand, climb stairs, run, and statements like, don’t walk without a cane, climb stairs, drive, do housework and/or lawn work, and won’t be able to do that again. But, sometimes an injured worker can do those activities to some degree or another, even if for only a brief moment in time, especially when ‘startled’.

However, just because someone can bend over to pick up money from the ground on one day, does not mean it did not hurt or cause problems, subsequent to the event. The videotape will only show the “positive result” needed to discredit the claimant’s statements! The examples are endless, but it always comes down to what is seen on the videotape or read in the reports.

Other “surveillance techniques” involve looking for the injured person’s Facebook page(s) on the internet.The information of the contents of the Facebook pages(s) can then also be exploited and tried to use against the claimant. For example, pictures of holidays, pictures of the Claimant in a certain position etc, content of their posts.

Apparently another common request from a claims manager, examiner, or defense counsel is to not videotape or document anything that would support the claim. They do not want to show a claimant in a wheelchair, using a cane, or with crutches. It is not helpful to the defense to have a videotape of a right-handed claimant forced to use the left hand due to their injury, as it would support the injured person’s claim that he/she cannot.

This will only be requested if it is suspected that a Claimant is committing fraud (lodged a fraudulent claim). A good example would be an individual claiming for example a low back injury and has stated they can’t bend, lift, or climb stairs, and suffers all the time. All the while the claimant will be video-ed mowing lawns, working on cars, and participating in sporting events etc.  When the individual shows up at a medical appointment, or even better, to a courtroom, unable to walk without assistive devices, confined to a wheelchair, or so medicated (to “control the pain”) that they are barely coherent, you are watching insurance fraud occur.

Again, the above is not as common as thought; for the most part, the injured person is really injured and only has “good moments” that usually last for short periods of time throughout their daily lives. Some injuries are short lived and some are permanent in nature.

Video is thought to be the most objective information available when evaluating the true physical abilities of an individual claiming an injury. It is not objective if the investigator is selective.

These surveillances are sometimes conducted close to medical  appointments, which usually include the day of the appointment, on weekends, and holidays or special events such as birthdays.

Most often hours of videotape are reduced mere minutes when shown to a doctor, who will then write a medical opinion regarding the injury and the level of disability it causes the individual.

To avoid editing, which is not allowed, and to consistently produce “positive results”, the investigator must learn to be selective, based on the activity observed.

Scary stuff indeed!

What can I say? Watch out, make your own videos and always photograph/document your injuries!

 



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20 Responses to “Workcover and Private Investigators: the truth”

  1. Wow, this is really FREAKY! It’s actually DISGUSTING that private investigators will use those ‘tricks’ to try and catch that 5 second video. I mean I am seriously injured (45% TBI)and would say that I can’t move my neck, but if I am startled I will of course twist my neck, but at what price (a week in bed). The other day I just about missed a hooting truck and I did turn my neck to look at the truck – it was a reflex and afterwards I had to be doped up on painkillers for days. If someone had video-ed this- yes of course it would show me turning my neck. But that would be so unfair!

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  2. How about we post up a few private investigators photos and details?

    Once they have been identified they are useless for surveillance work and will be shunned by the insurers

    Knock em down

    OP

     

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    Occular pressure March 6, 2012 at 3:54 am
  3. That’s an EXCELLENT idea, mate! Anyone who knows of a PI and has their name and ID features, please share!

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    workcovervictim March 6, 2012 at 10:33 am
  4. Did you know that WorkCover insurers have a preference for rogue-type operators who are then ditched if any wrongdoing comes to light?

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  5. Want a laugh… A few years ago afriend of mine who had a genuine claim for a back injury was being stalked by PI’s trying to ‘catch’ her out her something she shouldn’t in her, they  parked in front of her house for days just waiting.  The constant surveillance was really getting her down. She lived accross the road from a school, so phoned the police and reported that a strange man was sitting in his car watching the school and had been for a couple of days.  The police came along questioned the man at the station, he never parked out front again.  If they start stalking me I am going to rent a house accross from a school.

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    • As someone posted on our forum, an injure worker who is unable to walk without support and normally uses crutches and/or a cane was shopping at a Coles supermarket. There he had put his crutches or cane (I can’t remember exactly what it was)in his supermarket trolley and used the trolley as his support whilst shopping. A woman then came towards him and deliberately took his trolley away – needless to say that it was for the sole purpose for the PI to video the famous 5 seconds video clip of the poor bugger “walking” (read staggering) without support. How SICK!

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    • I don’t see the problem here. It is not a crime to park in a PUBLIC STREET even if it is near a school and the Police cannot move you on unless you are illegally parked or doing something else. The only problem I see is that the PI was parked outside the house. This is poor surveillance and this is not the tactic used for most surveillance. What these stupid comments on this forum show is that a lot of fools think it is ok to rip off insurance companies whilst the majority of us pay the extra premiums. If you are genuinely injured you have nothing to fear from PI’s. This story is a croc.

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      • I guess you are not well informed, Peter. You sound like a typical CM. This information provided is REAL and comes from a PI who used to work for workcover. You may want to do some more research into the dirty tactics used by PIs and workcover agents – just click on the “surveillance” tag.
        The TRUTH hurts, doesn’t it?

        If you would like to insult us further, please use the “insult us” page, specially set up for people like you 😉

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        • Oh and if these comments and this forum is so “stupid” why are you bothering reading the stuff in the 1st place?

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          • I am reading it because the link was sent to me. I am not afraid to use my real name either unlike so many other whingers here. A lot have a very vivid imagination here of PI work and some are sour because they were caught out in my experience and I am not a CM. Yes there are genuine Claimant’s but nearly all of them exaggerate their claims in my experience. Some interesting reading though and I may comment again if I get another good story.

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            • “Yes there are genuine Claimant’s but nearly all of them exaggerate their claims in my experience”… oh dear, sounds like you have been lobotomised!

              What is your “expert” opinion on the routine of downgrading of serious injuries by hired guns (IMEs) and by CMs at ALL cost?

              As far as your insulting opinions on this site concern, we would appreciate it if you used our “insult page”. If not, we will remove your rights to comment and/or from accessing our entire site 😉

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            • @Peter: You perhaps unaware how insurers/IMEs downgrade the injuries. You perhaps haven’t come across the white lies they often use to deny the claims. I can prove it with evidence.

              You appear ill-informed person and your statement is based on assumptions. It is cheap thinking and highly offensive. How can anybody generalise such sensitive matter and be so cruel?

              You just cannot imagine the pain and grief of an injured person until you sustain an injury yourself. People come on this site to share their pain and grief and not to insult the injured. Do whatever you think right, but please don’t comment here. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME!

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  6. Ah yes the contracted Private Investigators,recently I asked for my last IME report which contained video surveillance apparently being me on three different occasions within a three
    year period.When the footage was viewed I couldn’t believe my eyes as I started to laugh,for the first time in years.the investigators from Se–a acclaimed for their twenty + years in there expertise showed some one that supposed to be me (A) whom has CRD/HP on the sited side by the IME all six plus,being at a period of three years having some associated linked injuries that had been confirmed my numerous specialists to be on all three video footage with different out comes of what was reported.To my disbelief it was not (ME) and the vehicle that I drove and got out of was not mine.Oops
    yes that’s right the person in the footage seemed to be a dead ringer of me,but unfortunately it was not me but some one that looked similar.The vehicle in question was actually my cousins staying with me during this period of time whom owns the exact vehicle as my wife’s,but different number plates.My cousin from Singapore often gets mistaken for me vise versa,My cousin has a bad knee but on the opposite side of my injuries further more he stayed at my home whilst on a contract for the three year period that the footage was shot.

    I got in touch with my legal representative and told them of the footage and they were blown away with a hysterical laughter that only can be described as a laughing hyena,(the hole team)

    My legal team quickly pointed out to me this is a clear case of defamation of character and mis leading footage which clearly
    demonstrated the incompetence of the investigator who shot the video footage and presented it to the insurance company.
    My lawyer promted

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    Workcover victim A August 6, 2012 at 1:25 am
  7. Ah yes the contracted Private Investigators,recently I asked for my last IME report which contained video surveillance apparently being me on three different occasions within a three
    year period.When the footage was viewed I couldn’t believe my eyes as I started to laugh,for the first time in years.the investigators from Se–a acclaimed for their twenty + years in there expertise showed some one that supposed to be me (A) whom has CRD/HP on the sited side by the IME all six plus,being at a period of three years having some associated linked injuries that had been confirmed my numerous specialists to be on all three video footage with different out comes of what was reported.To my disbelief it was not (ME) and the vehicle that I drove and got out of was not mine.Oops
    yes that’s right the person in the footage seemed to be a dead ringer of me,but unfortunately it was not me but some one that looked similar.The vehicle in question was actually my cousins staying with me during this period of time whom owns the exact vehicle as my wife’s,but different number plates.My cousin from Singapore often gets mistaken for me vise versa,My cousin has a bad knee but on the opposite side of my injuries further more he stayed at my home whilst on a contract for the three year period that the footage was shot.

    I got in touch with my legal representative and told them of the footage and they were blown away with a hysterical laughter that only can be described as a laughing hyena,(the hole team)

    My legal team quickly pointed out to me this is a clear case of defamation of character and mis leading footage which clearly
    demonstrated the incompetence of the investigator who shot the video footage and presented it to the insurance company.
    My lawyer prompted me to file for defamation against both parties which would be another attempt by not only my so called comp agent but by other companies that try to with hold
    or edit the full footage for obvious reasons.My initial thoughts
    were yes let’s proceed,”after all it’s not me” in the footage and it had been shown to the IME whom judged it to be genuine to
    But still stated in the report I’m still not capable of returning to work because of my mental state of mind and the past IME
    reports that were consistent with he’s findings.

    I told my lawyer “no I don’t want to do that” file a law suit” because we are all human and humans make mistakes as well,further more I’m not a money hungry person and justice will prevail when they send me to the Medical panel and then I will be accompanied by my cousin and point out the investigation footage was not me and this is a clear attempt to
    defame me and to through out my case.You see I already achieved justice when my F—–g former employer accepted liability not by he’s own merit but by the worksafe investigators
    findings.Money is not the issue here nor is it a driving force for
    me,I just want my life back,my wife,and most importantly my daughter whom I miss since our separation because of this ordeal that engulfed my world and turned it inside out and up
    side down.That’s more important than money to me.MY SELF RESPECT,DIGNITY,AMD MOST IMPORTANTLY FAMILY AND DISCLOSER.Nothing else matters.

    I missed the birth of my child because my injury occurred two weeks before she was born,so I missed that the most important time when my wife needed me,(I could not assist her nor could I help her in any capacity).I was virtually robbed of this moment
    of life’s precious moments and nothing can bring this back NOTHING BUT A TIME MACHINE,and we all know that’s just not going to happen in our life time.I’m a person that was torn apart by my Employer and I hope when the time comes he will
    see the wrath of God and he alone will complete and justify the final ruling.I’m not assuming that all of you out their believe or have faith,but that’s all I have at present and all I need is hope to have my life back,and my family in tack once again.No one
    could ask for more than this I’m sure.

    So please listen,read,and ask for advise from the wonderful people that contribute to this fantastic site where I found a place to view and express my thoughts and keep on the track
    to where you ought to be.This site saved my life and I mean it
    I found friends when my own so called friends deserted me because of my unsocial ways due to my now living nightmare which hold me back from seeing and socializing in every way.Erin showed me I’m not alone but just ignored and one should talk to gain much more,psychologists listen which I’ve been seeing but they can’t totally understand what one is going through.I know this because I’ve seen so many and am still in the same state.If you don’t have any one to talk to or understands you,well you’ve come to the right place.And don’t forget to SCREAM AND SHOUT TILL ALL IS HEARD LIKE ERIN SAYS.

    KIND REGARDS
    AL Workcover victim

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    Workcover victim AL August 6, 2012 at 2:40 am
  8. “Yes there are genuine Claimant’s but nearly all of them exaggerate their claims in my experience”…

    notice this troll didn,t back up their inference?

    I smell orc blood

    and a pissy pi who has been caught out themselves perhaps?

    show your supporting documents

    then bend over and assume the position

    Put up or shut up

    Your intent is quite clear

    have a nice day

    Aussie pi watcher

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    • You should read the Privacy Act old son, you would know that personal information cannot be divulged on any person to all and sundry.

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  9. “I am not afraid to use my real name either”

    Lol at you peter cameron

    whats your date of birth ?

    you sound just like “ugly Dave Mewett” from MPOL
    investigations

    birds of a feather

    The “other peter cameron”
    tisk tisk

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    The "other" peter cameron September 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm
  10. Do we need to say more about Peter Cameron? He probably works for WorkSafe, where he is taught the art bullying, harassment and intimidation 😉
    Don’t tell us you are seeking support and comfort on this site, are you?

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  11. After reading through this I think any chance of me being able to make a claim is out the window I have a bad lower back with severe sciatica but I can lift things bend over but at the same time doing the above things can put me in a world of pain just because someone can bend over does not mean they are a fraud. Now I know why the lifts at work were not working today when I arrived and I was forced to go up the stairs yes I can walk up stairs but it is after the act that hurts seems strange that as soon as I had arrived at work and sat down that the lifts were working and how my chair has been used and lowered.

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