After you have filed your Workers’ Compensation Claim, the Insurance Company handling your Claim will obtain background information about you. There is a considerable amount of information that they can obtain about you without ever having to contact or question you. There are a number of Injured Workers who compromise their Workers’ Compensation cases when they provide false, inaccurate or contradictory information to either the Workers’ Compensation Judge, Defense Attorney, Claims Administrator or Medical Provider. Knowing the extent of information the Insurance Company knows about you will assist you in the handling your claim.
After you have filed a claim, there are a number of things which the insurance company will do. First, the Insurance Company will contact your employer. They will obtain witness statements from your supervisors and co-workers. They will obtain a copy of your personnel file.
The witness statements will generally provide them information about you and your injury. They will get statements of people who witnessed your accident and statements from co-workers concerning your job duties and information about your personal life. These statements will most likely include information about your hobbies, outside activities, and your family life.
The personnel file will contain a variety of information. It will contain information concerning your address, emergency contact information, and information about your spouse and children. It will contain information about your health insurance. It could contain your resume or job application. Resumes and Job Applications would contain information about your education and former employment. Also, it may give them information about your hobbies. Also, the personal file may give them information about your attendance at work as well as your absenteeism. Finally, it may contain wage information.
Second, the Insurance Company will most likely obtain an index search. Most insurance companies subscribe to an Index Service. The main one is called ISO. It is a large data base in which insurance companies share information concerning claims. They will check out if you have been in auto accidents. They will check the claims by name, plate number or VIN(Vehicle Identification Number.) They will check property claims by name and address. They can search Workers’ Compensation Claims by name or by business. They will utilize Social Security Numbers, Tax ID Numbers, and Driver’s License Numbers to obtain this information..
Third, the Insurance Company will go on the internet. On the internet, if you have participated in Social Media, they will find out the following about you:
- Pictures: They can obtain pictures of you. Obtaining a picture can allow their Private Investigators identify you when they are seeking to obtain Sub Rosa film
- Address: They can verify your residential address. Pictures of your residence may also be on the internet. This can assist Private Investigators locate you
- People: They can obtain the names of individuals who are your associates. They will know who they can interview concerning your activities. They will know who you are friends with at work
- Hobbies: They can obtain information concerning your hobbies. This information will tell them as to what activities they can videotape you doing. Perhaps, you are in a Softball League or in a Soccer League, they can videotape you participating in those activities. Even if they cannot obtain videotape on you, they can inform the reporting physicians are to your level of activity,
- Activities: they can obtain information concerning your activities. For example, you might provide information on Social Media concerning a certain activity. This can include information that such as a fact that you were moving, that you attended a concert, that you attended a party, that you went out to dinner or that you went on a vacation. In Workers’ Compensation law, activities of daily living are a factor in determining impairment. Further, your level of activity can determine whether you are to be considered totally temporarily disabled and entitled to TTD benefits. Further, your activity level can impact whether a Doctor, Vocational Expert or a Judge would be find you to be considered Permanently Totally Disabled. For Psychiatric claims of injury, the amount of social activity documented in Social Media can lead to a lower assessment of your Psychiatric Disability. In Workers’ Compensation, there is a Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale which Mental Health Practitioners use to determine Injured Workers’ impairment. And lastly,
- Timelines: Social Media can provide timelines for the insurance company concerning your activities. These can be used to prove or disprove injuries. For example, you complained of being sick on Monday due to your work injury and needed to miss work. At the same time of you making such a claim, there are pictures on Social Media that you were partying in Las Vegas during the weekend.
In sum, once you have filed a claim, the insurance carrier will know a lot about you. It is important that you handle your affairs with that in mind.
With more than 23 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation, is here to assist. If you have any questions concerning your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our offices. Please contact us today concerning any workers’ compensation questions or issues.