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  • Barsoum Law

What Workers' Compensation Investigators Cannot Do and How to Protect Your Rights

Workers' compensation investigators are bound by law to conduct their investigations in a fair and ethical manner. This means that there are certain things they are not allowed to do. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

●      Trespass on private property: Investigators cannot enter your home, car, or other private property without your consent or a valid warrant. This means they cannot come onto your property without permission, even if they are conducting surveillance. If an investigator tries to enter your private property without permission, you should politely inform them that they are trespassing and request that they leave. If they do not leave, you should contact the police.

●      Harass or intimidate you: Investigators are not allowed to harass or intimidate you or anyone else involved in your claim. This includes following you, making threats, or using other forms of pressure. If an investigator is harassing or intimidating you, you should document the incidents and report them to the workers' compensation board. You may also want to consider filing a police report.

●      Misrepresent themselves: Investigators must identify themselves as such and state the purpose of their investigation when they contact you. This means they cannot pretend to be someone they are not, such as a friend or neighbor, to gain your trust. If an investigator misrepresents themselves to you, you should document the incident and report it to the workers' compensation board.

●      Engage in illegal surveillance: Investigators cannot use illegal methods to gather evidence, such as planting bugs, tapping your phone lines, or hacking into your computer. If you believe that an investigator is using illegal surveillance methods against you, you should document the incidents and report them to the workers' compensation board and the police.

●      Use evidence obtained illegally: If an investigator obtains evidence through illegal means, it cannot be used to deny your claim. This means that evidence that is obtained through trespassing, harassment, intimidation, misrepresentation, or illegal surveillance is inadmissible in a workers' compensation hearing.

Protecting Your Rights

There are several things you can do to protect your rights during a workers' compensation investigation:

Be aware of your rights: As a claimant, you are entitled to a fundamental set of rights that safeguard your privacy, prevent undue intrusion, and ensure a transparent process. These rights include:

●      Right to Privacy: Your personal life and information remain private, and investigators cannot engage in unwarranted surveillance or intrude upon your privacy.

●      Right to Representation: You have the right to consult with and be represented by an attorney throughout the investigation process. An attorney can provide legal counsel, protect your interests, and ensure your rights are upheld.  If in doubt, talk to your attorney first. 

●      Right to Due Process: The investigation must adhere to established procedures, ensuring a fair and impartial assessment of your claim. You have the right to be informed of the investigation's progress and receive a copy of the investigator's report.

●      Right to Information: You have the right to access information gathered during the investigation, including witness statements, medical records, and any evidence obtained. This information can be crucial for reviewing the investigator's findings and preparing your case.

Document everything: Maintaining a detailed record of your interactions with the investigator is essential for protecting your rights. Document the following:

●      Dates and Times of Interactions: Keep track of the dates and times you meet with or communicate with the investigator.

●      Nature of Discussions: Record the substance of your conversations, including the questions asked, responses provided, and any additional information exchanged.

●      Evidence Presented: Document any evidence you provide to the investigator, including medical reports, witness statements, or other supporting materials.

Be cooperative but remain cautious: While cooperation with the investigator is crucial for a thorough investigation, it is important to strike a balance between cooperation and protecting your rights.

●      Respond to Requests: Respond promptly and respectfully to the investigator's inquiries. However, if you feel uncomfortable or unsure about answering a particular question, politely inform the investigator and consult with your attorney before proceeding.

●      Avoid Unnecessary Admissions: Stick to the facts surrounding your injury and avoid making statements that could be misconstrued or used against you.

Do not sign anything without reading it carefully: Before signing any documents related to your workers' compensation claim, carefully review the content to ensure you fully understand the implications of your signature.

●      Seek Clarification: If any aspect of the document is unclear or raises concerns, seek clarification from the investigator or your attorney before signing.

●      Retain Copies: Keep copies of all documents you sign for your records and future reference.

Seek legal counsel: If you feel your rights are being violated or encounter any issues during the investigation, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can:

●      Provide Legal Guidance: Explain your legal rights and options, helping you navigate the complexities of the investigation process.

●      Protect Your Interests: Advocate for your best interests and ensure your rights are upheld throughout the investigation.

●      Represent You in Court: If necessary, represent you in court proceedings to protect your rights and pursue your claim effectively.

Remember, you are not alone in this process. By understanding your rights, documenting your interactions, seeking legal counsel when needed, and exercising caution, you can protect your interests and ensure a fair and impartial workers' compensation investigation.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips for protecting your rights during a workers' compensation investigation:

●      Be polite and respectful: Even if you are upset or angry, it is important to be polite and respectful to the investigator. This will help to avoid any unnecessary conflict.

●      Do not lie: If you are caught lying to the investigator, it could damage your credibility and hurt your claim.

●      Be truthful and accurate: When you are asked a question, answer it truthfully and accurately. Do not exaggerate or embellish the facts.

●      Do not admit fault: Even if you think you may have been partially responsible for your injury, do not admit fault to the investigator. This could be used against you later.

Seeking Expert Guidance

If you feel overwhelmed or concerned about your rights during the investigation, do not hesitate to seek guidance from an experienced workers' compensation attorney. They can provide legal counsel, protect your interests, and advocate for your rights throughout the process.

By being aware of your rights, documenting interactions, maintaining cooperation without compromising your privacy, seeking legal counsel when necessary, and ensuring fair and ethical investigative practices, you can navigate the workers' compensation investigation process with confidence and protect your legal standing.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your rights are respected during a workers' compensation investigation.

If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, Barsoum Law can and will help. We have represented thousands of injured workers throughout California for the past 25 years. Contact us today at 1-877-299-1555 or to schedule a consultation with a member of our team. Also, visit for more information.


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