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  • Writer's pictureDan Fleming

Surveillance / Video Documentation

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

A question needs to be addressed here. Is the film going to be used for prosecution or to mitigate the indemnity payments on then film? For the most part the great majority of all tapes will be used as an intrinsic part of the claim adjustment process. Most film will be used by the adjuster to come to a fair settlement of the personal-injury action.

The adjuster or the SIU Investigator should realize that the great value of the evidence is to compare the allegations of disability to the reality of the video taped activity. In the vast majority of personal-injury claims where significant physical activity has been recorded, the video tapes are going to show that the claimant exaggerated his disability.

More often than not, the use of video tapes will decrease the payout of indemnity dollars to the claimant, who probably will not be the subject of a fraud prosecution.

"You are a unbiased witness, and a collector of facts. When observing a claimant's activity, tape everything"

When used properly, video tape evidence can be extremely useful tool in evaluating the extent of injury of a liability or worker's compensation claimant. The first step in determining the value of video tape as a settlement tool, is to compare the claimant's physical activity that was documented via surveillance with his or her allegations of disability as well as doctor-imposed restrictions.

If there are no indications that the claimant was aware of the surveillance, and appeared to be injured or acting in a manner that would be consistent with the alleged injury, then the injury may in fact be legitimate. Knowledge of this is just as important. This allows the adjuster to settle the claim in a more timely fashion with a clear conscience that fraud was possibly not an issue.

On the other hand, if the physical activity recorded on the video tape shows that the extent of injury may be exaggerated, the video tape when used properly will be a great benefit in decreasing potential payout exposure, and coming to a more fair settlement for both the insurance company, and the claimant.

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