We always warn worker’s compensation clients that the insurance company will most likely hire a private investigator to follow them and attempt to get video of the client doing things, which they have stated they cannot do because of their industrial injuries.
While, the video alone cannot be used to determine causal relationship and disability (In Re: Perez, Nilso, Lawyers Weekly No. 25-003-15), it can be shown to a medical expert to have the medical expert determine causality and extent of disability.
It can also be used (for or against) an employee in terms of their credibility. For example, if a judge views a surveillance video of a person shoveling snow, while that person has repeatedly told all medical professionals he cannot shovel snow, that judge may determine that the person’s credibility is lacking and that the rest of that person’s testimony is suspect. What the judge cannot do is use the video as evidence that the person is not disabled.
While we inform our clients that they can continue to live their lives, we also warn them that they should not be engaging in activities that either they say they cannot perform OR that their doctors have told them not to perform because of their injuries. If they do so, they will inevitably see those actions playing on the video screen for the judge to see.
If you or someone you know has been injured while at work, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Carolina K. Tumminelli, PLLC at 978-256-9655.