You need to understand that, while you are out in public or in public view, i.e. they are not peeping through your window, you have "..no expectation of privacy.." This means that they can follow, videotape, photograph you without your consent.
So long as you are not doing activities that you or your doctors say you should not or can not do, you have no recourse. As a general matter, most insurance carriers don't waste more that a couple of days of investigator time and expense on such things unless your case involves very high value.
In my more than 30 years of experience handling workers' compensation cases, sub rosa video or photos have had almost no adverse impact on my cases. In a number of instances, the video has actually supported my clients' claims.
Just do not overly exaggerate your limitations in activity or pain level when in deposition or at any doctor's office for evaluation or examination. Keep your complaints and limitations 'real' and you should not have any problems.
It is not illegal to watch, photograph or video someone in public because there is no expectation of privacy in a public location. Workers' compensation insurance companies, just like other insurance companies, usually do what they can to avoid paying claims. One way they do this when a person claims physical injury is to try to catch the person doing things that are inconsistent with the injury and to make a record of this.
To protect yourself, realize they are watching you and make sure you don't do anything that could be misunderstood as inconsistent with your claimed injuries. And the very best thing you can do to protect yourself is retain a workers' compensation attorney. To find a workers' compensation attorney, please look at the membership list of the California Applicant Attorneys Association (CAAA) http://caaa.org/cs/. CAAA is the strongest bar association in California for attorneys who represent injured workers.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
They WILL use your sub rosa (spy) footage to discredit your claim, but can only do so if you exaggerate your restrictions and/or minimize your stated activity levels. I have seen people followed to jobs they deny having, sports they deny playing, and mistresses they deny knowing. I have also seen people display obvious chronic pain, clearly avoid using an injured limb, or repeatedly fail to perform a simple task due to an injury. The truth is your friend, so remember that you may have only seen half the spies. They wouldn't follow you unless they already had reason to suspect your injury reports.
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