Many injured workers find it really creepy to think (or even sense) that a workcover private investigator may be following them around, taking secret pictures and filming their ‘activities’ without their knowledge or consent.
Creepy workcover surveillance tricks
Welcome to the creepy life of being spied upon when you enter the workcover world. We hear more and more of injured/ill workers who have been put under surveillance by their workcover insurance in an effort to manufacture and even fabricate evidence that can be used to deny workcover benefits.
Quite a few injured workers have obtained copies of their own surveillance videos under the Freedom of Information Act.
A typical case takes about 2-3 days of surveillance. And often the private investigator will park inconspicuously in the injured worker’s neighbourhood, either within view of the residence (best case) or watching the most likely route that the injured worker would take to leave. From there, the PI generally follows the person every where they go, usually in 8 hour shifts, and document their every activity.
For equipment, most PIs use a large zoom digital video camera, and/or a covert (secret) camera that looks like a button or something similar, to use if the PI follows injured workers inside a building (eg. cafe, church etc).
It is also well known that private investigators will often make use of a (known) injured worker’s medical appointment (eg. an independent medical examination) to conduct surveillance as it allows the investigator to get activity, identify the injured worker, identify possible cars, and verify their residence.
The point of this brief article is not to make you (overly) paranoid but you to need to understand that there is a very good chance that a workcover insurance company investigator may be following you, looking for any opportunity to videotape you. This is particularly true when you reach certain milestones, ie. 130 week mark for weekly payments (VIC), and especially if you have applied for a serious injury certificate (VIC), and particularly if under the narrative test.
You need to be vigilant because surveillance videotape /evidence is possibly the most compelling piece of evidence that a workcover insurance company can use against you to cut off benefits and/or lowball your settlement offer.
Ensure you abide by your doctor’s restrictions at all times.