You get hurt at work and file a workers’ compensation claim. You take all of the proper steps to show proof that you got involved in an accident and suffered an injury: You report the incident, you go to a doctor and you get copies of your medical files. Everything checks out. You did get hurt on the job and you deserve compensation while you heal.

But does anyone keep watching? Say you’re out of work for the next three months. Does anyone check up on you, perhaps without telling you, to see if you really got injured?

They might. In one case, a man got hurt and the workers’ compensation insurance company wanted to know more. They contacted some private investigators, who then tailed the man without telling him anything about it. They took videos of the physical activities that he did, one of which was lifting up what appeared to be a household washing machine.

With that evidence, the man’s benefits were overturned. They argued that he couldn’t have done such physical work if he was injured.

However, the man countered by saying that what he lifted was nothing more than a washing machine’s shell — the thin outer metal surface. It wasn’t heavy or difficult to lift, even with his injury. He got his benefits back. The fines he had been ordered to pay were canceled.

This case may sound strange to you, but it’s important to know that this type of thing does happen. If you get caught up in a complex workers’ comp case, you need to know exactly what legal steps to take to defend yourself.