There's no question that workers' compensation fraud is a problem. It costs more than $7 billion a year.
However, much of that fraud is on the part of various business owners who try to avoid their responsibilities -- not the victims of work accidents and injuries. Despite that fact, it's easier for an insurance company to send an investigator after an injured worker to look for fraud than it is to catch dishonest employers in the act.
Do you have any reason to be worried if your claim is legitimate? Unfortunately, you do. Insurance company investigators aren't necessarily concerned with the truth when what they really need is "evidence" that they can use against you.
These are some tactics that insurance investigators use:
1. Talking to your friends, neighbors and co-workers.
The people around you are often great sources of information for insurance investigators. While you might not believe that anyone would say anything bad about you, some people have an inherently negative view about anyone out on leave. You may have a co-worker, for example, who resents the fact that you get to "sit at home doing nothing" and still receive a paycheck. Be careful what information you tell others about your leisure activities, medical treatment and condition.
2. Looking at your social media accounts.
Not only will an investigator look at your social media accounts to see if there's any evidence that you're out there doing something that seems like it wouldn't be possible with your condition, he or she may also look at the social media accounts of your family members. Don't post any pictures of yourself on social media at family events or during your leisure activity and ask your relatives (and friends) not to tag you in any photos.
3. Spying on you at home.
Investigators will go to great lengths to catch a few photos or film of you doing something that discredits your injury claim. For example, an investigator might have a large package delivered to your home just to get photos of your picking it up and hauling it inside.
If you suspect that an investigator has targeted you, make certain that you inform your workers' compensation attorney right away and ask for advice specific to your situation.