The Role of Surveillance

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers firm at Kantrovitz & Associates are renowned for their dedication to disabled workers. For over 20 years, we have given individual clients the personal attention and respect they deserve. Our experience allows us to help you prove a job-related injury and fight allegations of fraud. We proudly serve injured workers throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Use of Surveillance in Proving Fraud

Workers’ compensation is critical when injured workers lose their capacity to make a living. But like other types of insurance, the system is susceptible to fraud. Insurance companies have developed many ways to detect and investigate fraud. These may involve:

  • Hidden cameras
  • Medical records
  • Phone interviews
  • Leading questions
  • Undercover agents
  • Background checks
  • Video, photography
  • Employment history
  • Private investigation
  • Psychological “tricks”
  • Filming medical exam
  • Social media sites
  • Watching daily activity

Insurance companies often request surveillance to investigate whether a workers’ compensation claim is legitimate. Even if the injury is real, some claimants exaggerate the extent of the injury, even lying about their ability to work. Surveillance is useful in proving workers’ compensation fraud.

Being Watched

The Department of Industrial Accidents adjudicates workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts. By testifying under oath and submitting earnings reports to insurers, claimants are swearing that a job-related injury prevents them from working for more than 5 days, or from obtaining comparable employment due to disability. Restrictions may involve:

  • Pain, swelling
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lack of sensation
  • Motor-sensory loss
  • Excessive weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty caring for self
  • Weak grip, manipulation
  • Twisting, bending, lifting
  • Physical, mental endurance
  • Mental, psychological trauma

Massachusetts law provides benefits for people unable to work. Insurers seek to catch recipients who claim a serious injury that is inconsistent with their actions. Although rare, some claimants have been recorded running, shoveling snow, or moving heavy furniture despite an alleged injury. Others have taken the opportunity to start a business or work as an independent contractor while declaring no income. Malingering and earning money while receiving benefits can constitute fraud.

Avoiding Insurance Fraud

Pain, discomfort, and trauma are often subjective. Cases of people taking advantage of the system are rare. Launching “targeted investigations” is also expensive. However, surveillance is not the only method for trapping fraudulent recipients. Remember that insurers also have nurse case managers and “independent” doctors to “spot check” physical capacity to determine whether responses and reactions are “consistent” with injury. An innocent lapse of memory about seemingly useless details may raise red flags. What appears insignificant in personal life is prime bait for insurers. An experienced attorney can help you avoid surprises and surveillance traps.

Experienced Representation for Injured Workers

If you suspect or fear the use of surveillance, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates can help. We have over 20 years of experience preparing patients for independent and impartial medical exams. We fight for your interests so you are never caught off-guard. At Kantrovitz & Associates, we know the difference between feeling paranoid and being prepared. You have nothing to fear from potential surveillance or reluctant insurers; we are here to defend your rights. Our Boston office serves injured workers in Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, Suffolk, Merrimack, Plymouth counties, among others. Call (800) 367-0871 for a free consultation, or contact us online.