In Workers Comp, you don't have "I told my doctor thing in private and confidential".
Only AIDS and Psychiatric treatment records are kept confidential ... all other medical treatment records can be subpenaed and delivered to the Comp Doctors and the Workers Comp Judge!
There is no expectation of privacy beyond your front door. Once you walk out the door, or place your trash on the curb, the investigator can go through your trash for evidence and follow you around for evidence...even interview neighbors.
My experience is neighbors NEVER 'report back' to any investigator...because they have zero obligation to do so.
Is there anything you can do to have them leave you alone?? CONCLUDE YOUR COMP CLAIM.
Until your comp claim is resolved, the adjuster has the right to pay an investigator to keep filming you, and all activity around your property. Hartford/Specialty Risk Services boast to employers they are aggressive in representing the employer's interests...the best solution is to get the case to trial immediately (hope your attorney filed in Pomona and not in LA, LA WCAB is pretty backlogged).
Some clients have attempted to get a Temporary Restraining Order AFTER they walk up to the Investigator and get their identity (of course you cannot restrain an investigator when you don't know their name and address).
SRS/Hartford can just hire another investigator, so it is not worth the time and energy to find the name and address of every Hartford investigator and file a TRO against them all.
One solution is to ALWAYS, 100% appear physically limited every time you are outside your front door... if ALL -- and i mean ALL -- of the investigator's photos and films have you limping and walking slowly and never carrying so much as a soda, the adjuster will get tired of spending money and it will stop.
Absolutely, tell your attorney everything. Although, the insurance company has a right to investigate your injuries, they do not have the right to divulge private medical information to third parties not connected with your case. It sounds malicious and an invasion of your privacy. Follow your lawyer's advice. Best of luck.
This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. El abogado de Accidentes de Autos y Lesiones Personales is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos y Lesiones Personales de Acidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, y Abogado de Acidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, y California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.
I agree with Mr. Juarez. You should tell your attorney all of this immediately and let him handle the matter. You should discuss the possibility of reporting the conduct to the department of insurance as well. While the insurance company is entitled to observe your activities, this story sounds like an invasion of your privacy and possibly includes civil torts such as slander and libel.
This response applies to California Law only and does not create any legal relationship between the attorney and the person who submitted the question.
You should absolutely tell your attorney everything. It does sound like overreaching on the part of the PI and your attorney can help guide you as to what other options you may have. There have been some good suggestions from my colleagues, but I think you and your attorney need to discuss this and how to handle it. Do not act on this without consulting with and informing your attorney first.
I will evaluate your case for free. I can also refer you to an attorney to help you if I cannot help you. Joyce J. Sweinberg, Esquire 215-752-3732 www.jjsassoc.net Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.
Tell your atty. Will the neighbor confirm what he/she was told by the ins co investigator? I think there may be a defamation case, and a violation of your medical privacy. If you can prove these things, the investigator may also face license issues.
The last thing you want to do is not keep your attorney informed. Speak with your attorney and get his recommendations.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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investigating an allegedly injured worker by video taping and following said worker around town on errands or at the bowling alley or the local rock climbing wall facility is so commonplace as to be expected - I assume most workman's comp attorneys warn their clients about this. However, divulging private information - and especially medical information which is protected by HIPAA laws (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy) is a no no. The attorney of a worker whose information has been divulged should be notified immediately.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
A workers comp carrier can hire an investigator to follow you and ask your neighbors questions about you. Anything your neighbors repeat to the investigator that you've told your neighbors is not an invasion of your privacy because you shared the information wih your neighbors. Sounds like not very good neighbors. If your neighbors or their children are following you, there may be stalking laws that may prevent this from happening. Also, if an insurance company investigator told your neighbors that you "faked" your injury, you may have a defamation suit against the insurance company. Talk to your workers comp attorney. If you don't have a workers comp attorney, hire one.
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