Workplace injuries can have devastating consequences for an employee. If you have sustained an injury on the job, you may be eligible to receive certain benefits under the workers’ compensation system in Illinois. Just because you are entitled to these benefits, however, doesn’t mean your employer and insurance company will pay up easily. Sadly, in an effort to avoid paying benefits, insurance companies often resort to measures such surveillance of the hurt worker. Our Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys are familiar with these types of tactics and will fight for the benefits you deserve.Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
If you are injured while working in the state of Illinois, you may be entitled to receive benefits through the workers’ compensation system. These benefits typically include medical care for the injury or illness, two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wages while that person recovers, and temporary or permanent disability benefits.
The goal of a workers’ compensation claim is to help you recover from your injuries and get back to work. In order to do that properly, you need to accurately disclose all your symptoms and physical limitations to your treating physician so that you can receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to get better. Then, it is vital to follow your doctor’s orders to the best of your ability.Surveillance by an Insurance Company
You might be surprised to learn that the law permits an insurance company to use the services of an investigator to conduct surveillance of an injured employee. In short, the insurance company can use surveillance and you should assume that it will. The surveillance can include following the injured worker, videotaping the injured worker going about his or her day in public (i.e., getting groceries, eating at a restaurant, checking the mail, etc.), and even speaking to neighbors or others about the injured worker.
This type of surveillance is legal because it generally takes place in public spaces where a person does not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” under the law. It is important to note, however, that an investigator who trespasses or takes pictures of an injured worker inside his or her home would be crossing the line because, among other places, a person does have a reasonable expectation of privacy within the home. In fact, Illinois courts have recognized that employers and insurance companies can be sued if they use overly intrusive surveillance tactics, and an experienced lawyer can help.
By using surveillance, the insurance company’s goal is to prove that you are not really as hurt as you claim to be. The surveillance evidence could be introduced as part of a workers’ compensation case before a workers’ compensation judge to challenge the injured worker’s medical testimony or to pinpoint fraud. For instance, if video surveillance footage shows an injured worker engaging in physical activity beyond his or her claimed medical restrictions, it can be very damaging to his or her case. In the event that the insurance company finds evidence to support its claim, it will use that information to cut off benefits as soon as possible.
Given the likelihood of surveillance, injured workers should be as truthful as possible throughout the workers’ compensation process. It won’t matter how much surveillance the insurance company has of you if you are following your doctor’s orders and doing what you are supposed to be doing. In fact, surveillance footage may even work in your favor in that it can confirm the extent of your injury to the insurance company.Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving Schaumburg and Wheaton
Depending on the severity, a workplace injury has the potential to impact almost every aspect of your life. At Therman Law Offices, our skilled work injury attorneys handle a full range of issues associated with workers’ compensation claims throughout Wheaton and Schaumburg. With years of experience, you can trust us to provide personalized and detail-oriented representation throughout the entire legal process. We take on clients from Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago and Lemont. To arrange for a free consultation about your case, please call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.