Butte Workers’ Comp Attorney: Attacking Your Credibility With Video
The understanding that most people have of using video to discredit a workers’ compensation claimant puts an emphasis on what isn’t allowed. For instance, an employer’s insurance company isn’t allowed to film you inside of your home; doing so is an invasion of privacy, subject to criminal or civil sanction.
What you might not realize is that once you exit your residence and enter into the general world, it’s legal and in some cases likely that you are being secretly recorded. Some employers are known to hire private investigators to collect evidence to discredit your claim.
Who might be getting recorded?
The higher value your case, the more likely it is that you are being recorded. A Butte workers’ compensation attorney at our firm will tell you that any claim with a permanent disability rating of more than 70% will probably have video shot of them. Also, anticipate hidden videos in cases where:
- You are appealing a denied claim.
- Your employer is motivated to discredit you.
- Your employer’s insurance company has already demonstrated hostility toward you or your claim.
According to sources on the other side of the system, insurance companies secretly record 15% to 30% of workers’ compensation claimants.
Isn’t it illegal to use video of me taken without my permission in a hearing?
Only if that video was taken somewhere you had a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” such as inside of your home or a public restroom. We’ve had clients recorded:
- Getting into their vehicles to drive.
- Going to a doctor’s appointment.
- Leaving for our office before his or her deposition.
- Shopping at the store.
- Talking with neighbors.
- Performing light-duty chores.
All of these videos were considered acceptable evidence at a deposition hearing. However, something very important to keep in mind about most of the videos shot in an attempt to discredit your case is that most of them aren’t really going to form much of a lasting attack on your viability.
Most doctors will testify that video of you performing daily activities will not dispute their underlying opinions of the extent of your injuries.
If you weren’t doing anything fraudulent, chances are that you, your attorney, and an expert medical witness will be able to demonstrate to the judge’s satisfaction that the content of any secret videos shot by the defense are ultimately meaningless.
Dealing with an adversarial insurance company in a workers’ comp claim is frustrating even when there aren’t complications like covert video footage. Get a free consultation from a skilled Butte worker’s injury attorney to learn more about your rights under California workers’ compensation law. Call 888-761-7383 or fill out our online form. Also, ask for our informative report, The Northern California Workers’ Compensation Survival Manual, packed with valuable information—available to you free!