Can I be put under surveillance because of a work injury?

Injured workers often times are put under surveillance by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.  Is it legal?  Yes, it is.  Should you expect it?  Yes, you should.  Surveillance in workers’ compensation can take many different forms.

In the least, you should expect that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will conduct a background check on any previous insurance claims you may have filed.  That is precisely why it is imperative NOT to hide information, pre-existing conditions, or prior injuries.  They will find out.   Remember, prior injuries and pre-existing conditions are NOT a bar to workers’ compensation benefits.  However, lying about prior injuries and pre-existing conditions will have a devastating impact on your workers compensation case.  Tell us at Mooney Law, tell your doctor, and tell the Workers’ Comp Judge about any prior injuries or pre-existing conditions.  Be honest and upfront.  As your attorney, I can’t defend a prior injury or pre-existing condition if I do not know about it.

Workers’ compensation insurance carriers will also conduct a social media search.  They are fishing for information that conflicts with your injury, claim, or testimony.  Be smart.  When you are injured at work, don’t post on social media.  Do not mention anything about your injury.  Do not post pictures.  Just don’t post on social media.

Finally, workers’ compensation insurance carriers may have a private investigator engage video surveillance over a few day period.  I have had clients contact me about a strange car sitting near their home.  Again, is this legal?  Yes, it is.  What they are attempting to do is ‘catch you in the act’ of doing something outside your work restrictions or doing something you advised your doctor or the Judge in your testimony that you can’t do because of your work injury.  Video surveillance is easily defended against.  The best way to do it is not to engage in activities that conflict with your doctor’s work restrictions.  When injured, we of course have good days and bad days with pain and symptoms.  Regardless, just follow your doctor’s restrictions.  If your doctor issues work restrictions of lifting no more than 10 pounds, then it is probably a bad idea to be in your front yard swinging a 25 pound piece of garden equipment.  The moral of this story is — follow your doctor’s work restrictions.  Period.  I used to work on the defense side representing employers and insurance carriers.  I know the tricks they employ.

Don’t risk your workers’ compensation rights and benefits.  Don’t sign documents.  Don’t post on social media.  Call Mooney Law right away.  We always offer absolutely free consultations.  We are experienced, proven, and trusted in Pennsylvania and Maryland workers compensation.  We have helped recover tens of millions of dollars in benefits for injured workers through Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Call today at 717-200-HELP or 833-MOONEYLAW.  You can also visit our website at

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.