Recently, I have had a few cases in my Virginia Workers' Compensation practice that involved video surveillance. This typically occurs when an injured worker is out of work on compensation and the disability is due to "pain" rather than an obvious orthopedic impairment.
The insurer will employ a private investigator to follow the injured worker around hoping to catch the worker doing an activity or activities that are inconsistent with his alleged impairment. If the investigator is successful, the insurer's attorney will then play the video in front of the treating physician. This can cause the treating physician to declare the injured worker no longer disabled or cause the treating physician to lift any work restrictions. Then, the insurer's lawyer will file with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission to cut off the worker's compensation.
One problem for the worker's attorney is that one cannot obtain the insurer's video surveillance until after it has been provided to a third party such as the treating doctor.
Also, the Commission has ruled in the past the worker's attorney cannot obtain the video prior to the worker's deposition. Thus, the insurer's lawyer can pin down the worker to answers that may be inconsistent with the surveillance video.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact Jerry Lutkenhaus at (804) 358-4766 or (800) 256-8862. Also, check our website at Virginia Workers' Compensation Lawyer.