COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Surveillance in Airline Industry Workers' Compensation Claims

Chicago Lawyers for Employees Hurt On the Job

Workers’ compensation insurers may be suspicious about certain work-related injury claims. When reviewing a case, adjustors may notice specific red flags. These can include a pre-existing condition, symptoms they believe are exaggerated compared to the objective evidence, particularly expensive or serious claims, or a claimant’s delay in reporting injuries sustained in a workplace accident. When an adjustor believes that a claimant who works in the airline industry may not be truthful about his work-related injuries, they may conduct online or real life surveillance. If you are concerned about surveillance in an airline industry workers’ compensation claim, you can seek legal advice. Contact our office to discuss your circumstances with the knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.

Surveillance in Airline Industry Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation benefits are paid by your airline employer’s insurance company, not by the employer directly. Insurers are concerned about making a profit and saving money. They frequently use surveillance to keep watch over claimants, particularly when a claim is expensive or involves serious injuries. Oftentimes, surveillance is conducted prior to you receiving surgery in an insurer’s effort to avoid paying the surgery bill. It may also be used when your case is in settlement negotiations related to a permanent total disability claim. The insurer’s purpose in conducting surveillance is to determine whether you’re genuinely hurt or injured to the extent that you say you are.

In-Person Surveillance

Surveillance may be conducted in person. In that situation, an investigator may be retained to follow you around. You will not be told that this surveillance is occurring. You may be watched during any daily activity, such as grocery shopping or playing with your children on the lawn or in front of an open living room window. The investigator is looking for evidence that reveals that you can do something you said you couldn’t do. For instance, if you sustained a back injury while loading baggage onto an airplane and your doctor restricted you from picking up items that weigh more than 5 pounds, and yet you are throwing your child into the air while standing on your front lawn, the investigator make take a video or photograph of this to show the insurer.

It’s lawful for the investigator to conduct surveillance in public. You can’t stop the surveillance, but you can be honest and accurate about your injury and be cautious when out in public. You put your benefits at risk if you are careless about your actions after making a claim. It’s wise to follow all restrictions your doctor has placed upon you, even if it’s inconvenient. Hiring an investigator to tail you costs money, and if you act appropriately for long enough, the adjustor will likely stop the surveillance. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can help you make sure that you understand the restrictions you are subject to, and what kinds of activities may be best to avoid due to the risk of surveillance.

Online Surveillance

You may also face surveillance online. You may receive friend requests from people you don’t know. People to whom you’re already connected on social media may be investigators working for insurance companies. Coworkers may report information gleaned from your posts to your mutual employer. Often people post photographs, videos, and other information online to receive favorable feedback. You may be unwell, and yet post happy photographs or videos that show you were having fun and being physically active on a particular occasion. You should be aware that such posts can be used to demonstrate that you’re not as limited as you say you are. For example, you may post a photo of yourself playing baseball with your children on the one day when the pain from your work-related reflex sympathetic dystrophy wasn’t acting up, and it could be used to stop or deny you benefits. If you’re seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it’s wise to lock your social media accounts and only accept friend requests from people you know and trust.

Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

As an injured airline industry worker in Chicago, you should be careful about your actions if you are seeking benefits. If you have questions about surveillance in an airline industry workers’ compensation claim, you can discuss your situation with the seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We can represent airline workers in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Cook, Adams, Winnebago, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.