As we all know, January started off relatively mild in regard to the weather. This kept claimant activity rate, collectively, from falling too far under what we consider to be average. Many cases followed a claimant’s typical routine, however tailored to that individual’s lifestyle.
One surveillance case in particular took us into the thumb where our claimant disclosed that he can no longer work at his collision shop, due to injuries sustained from a recent auto accident. Fair enough. Those suck. Been there! On top of his injury claim, and now wage loss, he had to continue to thicken his imaginary payout and claim that not only could he not work, but the shop was, in fact, completely closed since the accident, causing a total business income loss! So, just to run a quick check and balance on the “facts” of the case, we set up a stationary surveillance camera to watch an empty mechanic shop for days on end, right??? WRONG!! Not only was the shop open from 9:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. everyday we collected video, but the claimant was the one to unlock the door in the morning and lock the door in the evening, with no signs of any other employees on site! Now, because I’m of the curious sort, I not only followed up with manned surveillance to strengthen our fact findings, but even ended our investigative efforts with the claimant assisting my collision needs on my own vehicle and coming up with a quote for me to give some consideration to.
Now enter “Snowzilla” and that God awful “polar vortex” experienced near the end of January… Both situations shut down more than just secondary roadways and public schools and probably should have shut down surveillance efforts due to the shut down of any claimant activity, right? WRONG AGAIN!! I made the treacherous trip up to Saginaw, on both occasions, to test the theory that life must go on, regardless of the elements. And…it paid off!! Up north, we had a claimant that disclosed, due to his injuries, he could no longer get around and had to take a break from walking approximately 100 feet. Day one, in the middle of the gigantic snow storm, the claimant decided that he should walk around the driveway, brush all the snow from his vehicle and then travel into town to do a little shopping. I didn’t see any breaks in his 100+ foot commutes… On day three, during a mad drop below zero, the claimant was observed outside shoveling snow up and down the street, along the sidewalk, in front of his home. No breaks in activity here either, but in his defense, he was only outside for ten minutes…what a trooper!
Mild weather has re-entered the tail end of January into February. I ended this mini era with your basic 24/7 attended care case in the St. Clair area. These, in most cases, tend to be pretty boring days with all observations made from one parked location, documenting all the comings and goings of those providing, or not providing, the services. On said date, this one began to follow the standard aforementioned routine of most A/C cases. BUT! Lo and behold, the claimant left! Now, she was supervised, but not with one of the two listed providers. How big of a deal was this?! I really don’t know actually, but the three hours and fifteen minutes of mobile surveillance away from the claimant’s residence on an attended care case…sorry, but I was excited about it! The wee little mind of a surveillance investigator, right?
January doesn’t typically give the feel of being a really great month for surveillance activity. To those skeptics, start back at the top…
Until next month….