If you have had a an injury accident or a workers compensation claim recently, you have been or will be under surveillance.
Not the surveillance you see on police movies, where the cops do a 24 hour a day “stake-out” for weeks on end. But surveillance nonetheless.
Usually, secret video taping is done at a distance from a van. Occasionally, private investigators have been known to climb trees and borrow neighboring homes to get the best shots.
What are the looking for? Two things basically. The first is just to get baseline of how you look, and how you move since the injury. The second is to see if the alleged medical problems you have reported are actually problems for you (when you think no one is looking).
You have likely seen features on 20/20, 60 Minutes or Dateline about workers comp scams, right? Such as one where a fellow says his back is killing him but he is riding in a rodeo the next week? This is where those videos come from. Those videos outrage everyone, and are used to prosecute those involved in insurance fraud.
But, secret video taping is used in virtually all significant cases, not just those rare ones where an actual scam is suspected.
However, I can tell you that surveillance likely helps some get workers and victims paid as well as to help deny others. Insurance companies who review the tapes and conclude that the fellow is actually hurt and honest about it, often will come to me with a fresh settlement offer.
We are living in a surveillance society. It is heading more that way all the time. In London, England, for example, some estimates have Londoners being photographed up to 300 times in a single day. That actually helped all four terrorists get captured just recently.
Your photo is taken at the ATM, the grocery store and the mall. And, if you are hurt at work or in a car accident — smile — you are also on the insurance’s candid camera.
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