Surveillance is still an accepted tactic in the workcover world, especially in longer-term and more complex cases, including in cases of mental injury/illness. Workcover insurers still try to convince the public that surveillance controls fraud. But for genuinely injured workers, surveillance tactics can cut off rightful benefits and, worse, also cause humiliation and paranoia to the injured worker’s pain, disability, and lost income and joy of life.
These days, just about everything we do on social media can have a big effect on our offline, private lives. We see increased cases of, for example, social media defamation; workers who have been sacked thanks to inappropriate Facebook rants, inured workers who have posted pictures of themselves, even to people who have had their homes robbed after mentioning on FB pages that they were away! The internet is a private investigator that never sleeps!
Emotional and/or psychiatric injury is so often caused by the interaction(s) with the workcover system, in particular interactions with the insurer (i.e. case manager) and by ongoing stigmatitsation and psychological profiling of injured workers as malingerers, fraudsters, careless and even dumb!
Did you know that the success of your work injury case also depends on your credibility. That is: that you are honest, are being trusted and believed in, in what you say and…do. This is especially true when you have an injury that is not (very) visible to the naked eye; for example a heart condition, a psychological injury, and even a back injury. So what you say and do, and whether you are believed is extremely important as this can make you win or loose your case.
Hi everyone ,
I would like to share my experience with private investigators tactics .
I had 3 major back operations and currently I am unable to walk or stand without support.
So most of the time I used to stay in car when our family is going out to the parks or shopping centres for short time. I always was careful if there are any cars following us.
But few times I have noticed where ever we were going a same car used to reach exactly after 15 -20mins I was wondering how can someone always reach after that much time difference even there was no car I could see to a very long distance.
Surveillance of injured workers (and other claimants) is still rife and not (often) justified either, according to a very recent article on ABC News.
“In each case, I’d ask the claims officer what prompted the decision to track this claimant. Often the reasons were quite subjective.
“Her tone of voice last time we spoke was really suss,” one manager told me.
“I just get the sense there’s something dodgy about him,” said another.
Sometimes the only reason given was that the claim was taking a long time and was expensive. Surveillance was regularly ordered without evidence of a problem.”
You may remember the case of former PM Julia Gillard’s house keeper’s workcover claim for an injury she sustained to her back while straining to fit a sheet on Julia Gillard’s king-size mattress in 2012. The house keeper had initially some issues with her claim, also re-injured herself and now it turns out that she was accused of “fraud” by means of surveillance. However recently the AAT overturned the decision of Comcare to cease her claim for compensation. The article gives some worthy tips re surveillance.
If you are an injured worker with a (potential) serious injury application and/or a common law damages claim with a Facebook account, you really need to read this article. No matter what privacy settings you use on Facebook, you must assume that everything you post will be viewed by the workcover insurer defense lawyers. And, what’s worse, your Facebooking can also be used to demonstrate your ability to undertake an office, or computer based job!
Injured workers and motorists (in Tasmania, but we believe in every state really) are increasingly being subjected to intrusive, costly and potentially unlawful surveillance, Slater and Gordon Hobart lawyer Brian Hilliard said, in an article published in The Mercury.
CGU workcover insurer secretly filmed a wrong injured worker for ‘surveillance’ purposes in a (fully sick and undoubtedly disguised) attempt to discredit the genuine injured worker’s workcover claim. Was it not for a most ethical Dr Timothy Wood this poor injured worker’s claim would have been jeopardised, more so as the covert surveillance was undertaken at the famous 130 week (weekly pay cut-off) mark.