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Are you being followed after you filed a disability claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Long Term Disability Claim Denial

Short-term and long-term disability policies exist for a reason. They’re supposed to provide workers with the means to retain their financial security after an injury or illness leaves them unable to work.

Unfortunately, insurers are better at selling those policies than they are at paying valid claims. They often go to great lengths to try to prove that an injured or sick worker is exaggerating their injuries or limitations. If you’re suspected of fabricating your injuries or just playing up your symptoms to maximize your benefits, you may be the subject of surveillance by the insurance company.

What can’t a private investigator do?

It’s important to know that California is a two-party consent state, which means that private investigators cannot record audio of you without your consent. They also cannot generally tap your phone line, put tracking devices on your vehicle or take other, similarly intrusive actions. They cannot, for example, enter onto your private property to nose around or aim a camera into your window (which would be stalking).

What can a private investigator do?

Pictures are worth thousands of words – and thousands of dollars if they can be used to deny your claim. Since there’s no audio involved, pictures are fair game. Investigators can take photos of you in your front visible yard, at your front door, and they usually try to catch you in the act of doing something your injuries or sickness should prevent, whether that’s bending over to pick up a delivery box or cutting your lawn.

They can also follow you to public areas and observe your actions. They can later report or testify to what they saw you do, if any of what they witnessed could be used against you to deny your claim. 

Finally, investigators today have a lot of technical skills, and they know how to comb social media for evidence that might support the insurance company’s denial of benefits. Photos of you enjoying a dinner out may be masking your pain, but the insurance company won’t see it that way.

When you’re short and long-term disability claim is denied or terminated, there are may benefits in consulting an attorney such as those at ERISA Law Center.  It can help you understand the rights of private investigators and make you more aware of your rights – and you can fight back against unfair denials of your claim.