The Role of Surveillance
The workers’ compensation system is complex. Although the system is designed to ensure that injured workers receive the compensation that they need to address their injuries and help them continue to support their families, there are many instances in which an employer’s insurance company may fight a claim and attempt to reduce the benefits award as much as possible. One of the primary tools that may be used to hinder a workers’ compensation claim is surveillance. Although there are no official figures regarding the frequency with which insurance companies engage in surveillance, it is safe to assume that the role of surveillance might have an impact on a claim. At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, our dedicated Greenville and Spartanburg workers’ compensation lawyer has dealt with numerous cases involving claimant surveillance and is prepared to help you protect your legal rights.Understanding the Role of Surveillance
If you have suffered an injury while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The first step in seeking your benefits is to notify your employer, which will then initiate a claim with its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Under South Carolina law, employers are required to maintain some form of workers’ compensation insurance. After the claim is initiated, the worker will usually be asked to submit to one or more medical examinations by a medical physician of the insurer’s choosing. During these examinations, the physician will determine the scope and extent of the injuries. The physician will assess whether the injury is partial or total and whether it is temporary or permanent. Injuries that are temporary and partial in nature are awarded a smaller amount of benefits on a temporary basis than are total and permanent injuries. In the latter case, the employee may be entitled to receive other benefits as well.
If the worker disputes the physician’s assessment, they have a right to request a second opinion. If the two medical opinions are incompatible, the workers’ compensation commissioner may ask a third doctor to provide an opinion and break the tie. To ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefits that you deserve, it is critical to keep well-documented notes about the nature and scope of your injuries and to report them to your employer as soon as possible.
One issue that workers’ compensation claimants often find concerning is the thought that they are under surveillance. Insurance companies may resort to surveillance in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy and credibility of the claimant. Even though many attorneys warn clients that they may be under surveillance at any time, some claimants continue to engage in activities that are not compatible with the physical restrictions that their treating physicians have prescribed. If the insurance company is able to obtain surveillance footage or photographs of the claimant engaging in physical activities beyond the scope of the physician’s orders, the claimant’s benefits may be compromised or rendered wholly unavailable. This is true regardless of whether the injury is diagnosed as a temporary or permanent injury or a partial or total injury. As a result, it is important to be aware that the conditions that you are reporting must correspond to the reality of your daily life, or your credibility may be undermined if the process is contested.Hire a Work Injury Lawyer in Greenville or Spartanburg
Navigating the workers’ compensation system is not always straightforward, especially if you are coping with a painful injury or a debilitating medical condition. It is critical to understand your rights and to take appropriate action at each stage of the claims process. At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, our job injury lawyer provides legal counsel to injured workers throughout Spartanburg, Cherokee, Laurens, and Union Counties. As a result, we have a keen understanding of how workers’ compensation insurance companies may approach your claim, and we know how to protect your legal interests at each step of the process. Call us now at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with an attorney in Greenville or Spartanburg.