Injured workers and motorists (in Tasmania, but we believe in every state really) are increasingly being subjected to intrusive, costly and potentially unlawful surveillance, Slater and Gordon Hobart lawyer Brian Hilliard said, in an article published in The Mercury.
Spying on injured workers out of control
Spying out of control
By David Killick
May 19, 2015
Insurers trying to catch cheats are going too far and invading the privacy of innocent people, says a senior personal injury lawyer.
Injured Tasmanian workers and motorists are increasingly being subjected to intrusive, costly and potentially unlawful surveillance, Slater and Gordon Hobart lawyer Brian Hilliard said.
Workers compensation and Motor Accidents Insurance Board claimants were routinely subjected to arranged filming, which breached people’s privacy and was arguably illegal, he said.
“Spying on injured workers has become so prevalent in Tasmania that anyone who is severely injured as a result of a workplace accident should expect that they will probably be under surveillance,” Mr Hilliard said.
“Surveillance is also commonly ordered by the MAIB in their management of claims by injured motorists.
“In my experience, the overwhelming majority of people on compensation are genuine and motivated to recover. Some are so badly injured that they cannot return to work.
“While they are trying to recover from a major injury, they do not need the added stress of being followed around. They are already under enormous stress.”
MAIB chief Paul Kingston said the board was required by law to ensure that it was paying benefits to claimants that were reasonable and only where the claimants’ personal injuries resulted directly from a motor accident.
“In determining if a requested treatment is reasonable, the MAIB obtains appropriate and relevant information,” he said. “Where there is reasonable doubt as to the veracity of a claim, the MAIB may utilise contracted providers to undertake appropriate forms of surveillance.
“The MAIB requires providers to be licensed and to undertake all surveillance in line with relevant laws.”
Mr Hilliard said improving technology was increasing the intrusion.
He said the money being spent on surveillance should be used to improve safety and help Tasmanians recover.
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