My workman comp. insurance company hired PI to watch including having their kids follow me around at school. And my attorney told me attending school have nothing to do with my case. Is that legal for their kids to follow me around at school? They came to my neighbors telling them about my case, and including telling them what I said in private my treating physician . They said I fake my injury and telling my neighbors to reports back to them what they saw I do. Is that invasion of my privacy? Since I told my doctor thing in private and confidential. Is there any thing I can do legally to have them leave me alone? And should I inform my attorney about their kids following me around at school?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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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.
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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