If a workers’ comp claims investigator contacts you, you should know your rights when seeking benefits. You probably have a lot of questions about the investigator that need answers very soon. A few of these questions are addressed here.
Why Is There a Claims Investigator Involved in Your Case?
Workers’ compensation insurance companies must investigate claims made against the insurance policies that they issue to employers. One way they do investigations is by asking insurance company employees or private investigators to review your case.
Insurers may decide to use investigators when they doubt the truth of the claims asserted by an employee, when they believe an employee is exaggerating symptoms, when they think an employee is disobeying medical restrictions, or when a workers’ comp claim has been made long after the injury occurred or began. They also may use investigators as a matter of course in a percentage of claims.
While insurers investigate all claims in some way, they do not always use claims investigators. Sometimes they simply talk to the employer and any other employees involved.
Why Is an Investigator Contacting You Directly?
Investigators may, in some cases, contact an injured worker directly to request an interview over the phone or in person. The interview is an attempt to gain new information about your claim from you directly. This information could help the insurance company justify denying your claim and your benefits.
You have no obligation to be interviewed by the investigator. In fact, you may tell the investigator to contact your lawyer instead. If you do not have a lawyer and believe a claims investigator is reviewing your claim, you may want to schedule a consultation with a local attorney.
Which Other Tactics Do Claims Investigators Use?
When an insurance company does decide to use an investigator, that person may use various tactics to review your case. Claims investigators could:
- Follow you around in a car
- Observe you at home (from outside the home) or at work
- Take a video or audio recording of you
- Speak to people you know, including coworkers
- Request an interview
While investigators’ tactics may feel intrusive, they don’t have the right to trespass or harass you while investigating your workers’ comp claim. Again, contact a lawyer if you are unsure what to do when you believe that an investigator is involved in your case.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.