At times, investigations will need to be conducted in the field. Types of situations that require field services include validating insurance claims, legal cases, custody battles, infidelity, and other unique circumstances. These instances typically involve physical surveillance to be conducted by a trained professional that can uncover the intel needed without alerting the subject of the investigation. What is physical surveillance?  In this blog, we will cover what it is, how it works, and why you need it.

What is Physical Surveillance? A Breakdown

By definition, physical surveillance is a form of monitoring where the subject in question is kept under plain view observation. It can be used by private investigators, as well as law enforcement officers. This type of surveillance requires a special set of skills and can be labor-intensive, as the subject will need to be monitored until the truth is uncovered. One crucial goal in any field investigation is to avoid alerting the subject to the presence of surveillance.

Surveillance professionals work on foot, in vehicles, and use other methods of transportation as necessary and should be highly alert, as well as flexible, to identify the movements of the subject. Field investigators typically dress in plain clothes to conceal themselves and typically use unmarked, nondescript vehicles that do not stand out in the environment they are working in.

Why is Physical Surveillance Needed?

Reflecting on our previous point about some investigations needing to be completed in the field, these cases require eyes and ears on the ground to prevent a crime, obtain evidence of a crime, document an individual’s activities, etc. For example, if an employee for a company claims that they were permanently injured on the job and is demanding worker’s compensation benefits, the subject is entitled to a specific payout. If the company suspects fraudulent behavior and hires field investigators to validate the stated injury, they can gather the evidence they need to proceed. If the subject was recorded walking around and engaging in daily activities, then the company would have the proof they needed to deny the benefits, which could save them a substantial sum of money. 

A Physical Surveillance Case Study

At CaptureINTEL, our field investigators have numerous years of experience conducting surveillance for various cases. Here is an example of a physical surveillance job that saved one of our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars. We had a case with a subject that claimed he was permanently and totally disabled. This subject’s attorney was very insistent that she would not settle his claim, and in fact, they claimed a present value of $395,000 with the need for ongoing psych care and neuropsychic care. This attorney did not think that he had any mental capabilities to hold a job, making him eligible for permanent total disability. When conducting surveillance for the subject’s employer, we found out that he was voluntarily working at a treatment center and helping with their accounting. We were able to petition this company to find out further details of his employment. We got the neuropsychic to say his traumatic brain injury was over fabricated, forcing the employee’s attorney to entertain settlement. However, the employee’s attorney demand only dropped down to $350,000 with the closure of medical. We then conducted additional surveillance, which showed that he could do several things, including taking a bus on his own. His employer eventually settled the claim for $150,000 to close out all medical with an employment law release. This resulted in a $200,000 cost savings.

Now that you know the answer to “what is physical surveillance?” you can set yourself up for success if you are in a position where those services are beneficial. At CaptureINTEL, our seasoned field investigators have a deep understanding of proper procedures. We always comply with state and federal mandated laws so that we never violate restrictions put in place to ensure an individual’s privacy. Connect with us to explore how we can help you uncover valuable intel!