February was a funny month for attempting to proactively schedule surveillance efforts. Blowing snow in the early morning sent me home before I even ventured more than 15 miles from Brighton, TWICE!! We saw 50 degrees once, or twice, but with that came rain. These factors kept claimant activity rate, collectively, from rising all that far above what we consider to be average for this time of year. But, don’t fret…the war stories continue…
One case, in particular, took us right into the center of Michigan where our claimant disclosed at her IME that she can no longer function normally, due to injuries sustained from a recent near slip and fall accident at work. Fair enough…I guess. I mean, I can’t even count the number of times I did slip and fall on my ass this past month NOT including the vast number of NEAR slip and falls, but I digress… So, what does normal functionality really mean in this case? Well, her admission of being unable to drive herself anywhere anymore got the attention of her employer and hence our presence. Surveillance on day one saw the claimant walk properly to her SUV, enter the vehicle and depart the area, driving like she had someplace to be. Surveillance on day two was interesting. She was picked up by a relative to go to treatment AND ambulated in such a manner that I couldn’t help but chuckle, even if just in my head. Day three looked much like day one of surveillance, following the claimant as she drove herself to three different locations and day four looked just like day two; another treatment day, another dog and pony show. We’re not quite done with this case file and maybe we’ll even revisit the final findings next month.
Now, let’s venture over to the east side of the state. Multiple injuries to this claimant have kept him from going back to work, in addition to really doing anything even close to active. Okay, he got the benefit of the doubt, but just to be proactive our client decided a quick peek-a-boo into his day-to-day activities might be beneficial to solidify his claim…or otherwise… A few days of stationary surveillance was set up to monitor the activity level at the claimant’s residence. And, something interesting appeared on video…somebody left the home at very early morning hours on all three days! Ok, so what? Well, it happened to be the claimant’s vehicle that left…ALL three days! Yeah, yeah, yeah…it could have been his wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, whoever…good point. But, the footage proved even more interesting when it was the claimant returning home in the same vehicle, 12-13 hours later, just before dark…ALL three days! With those findings, manned surveillance followed. And followed we did! Right to the claimant’s new apparent place of employment! I say “appeared” only because I have not seen the final report findings on this one yet, but I can only imagine that a simple employment screening/verification has been completed.
One more “quickie”, again, from the east side. A male claimant has injured himself and can no longer work. I know, we’ve heard this one somewhere before… Two out of three days of surveillance found the claimant taking a nice drive over to another residence in a nice neighborhood, probably just there to visit a relative or something probably, right? WRONG!! Well, not unless he was just there, on multiple occasions to carry in a step ladder, extension pole, tarp, hammer and other tools just to drop off for someone there to borrow… And then stay for extended periods of time, maybe to simply demonstrate how those tools all work properly??? That would be my argument in his shoes, I guess.
February picked up right where January left off in the insurance world regarding dishonesty and potential fraud.
Until next month….