Sunday, November 18, 2007

Surveillance Videos

Many times in a workers comp claim the claimant is surveilled and videotaped. It is not usually illegal to videotape someone out in public view. It is then shown to a doctor and even to the Judge. Of course such videotaping never shows the claimant going in to his residence and having to lay down. It never shows someone struggling to get up in the morning. It also can be edited to show activities not in line with what the doctors are saying. In one recent appealed case the claimant was seeking permanent total disability benefits and there were doctors who examined him along with vocational experts on each side to provide opinions on his employability. He lost his case for this in great part I am sure to a videotape that showed him more functional then how he presented to the doctor. When the doctor says 10 pounds lifting and you lift 30 lbs you are out of line with your doctor and setting up to lose or greatly reduce your benefits. I've seen surveillance of claimants in retail stores, outside walking the dogs, gardening, washing the car and lifting and carrying boxes. If you violate what your doctors say are your restrictions then don't complain when it's revealed to all. Saying you had to do it or were medicated at the time does not alter the situation. Saying it was painful and afterwards you laid down is still not very good. Videotaping happens in many cases and can take place at any time or multiple times. Imagine the shock to your doctor or lawyer when this is shown to them. Imagine what goes through the Judge's mind when he sees a claimant gardening but saying he can't work. There really is no good excuse for exceeding your restrictions medically or legally.

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