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Can Fibromyalgia Sufferers Be The Subject Of Video Surveillance?

surveillanceDear Brian

I have been involved in a road accident. I initially suffered a whiplash injury before developing fibromyalgia. My solicitors have obtained a favourable report linking the fibromyalgia to the accident. With the help of my solicitors, I have also prepared a detailed witness statement commenting on the care I need and my difficulty with working. The statement has been reviewed by the medical expert who confirms that it is in keeping with my condition.

However, I have heard that in fibromyalgia cases there is a real chance of being put under surveillance. While I have been as truthful as possible in my witness statement when commenting on what I can do depending on the severity of my symptoms on a given day, I am afraid the other side will try to twist what I can do on a ‘good’ day to say that I am fraudulent. I fear that they will present the evidence in a way that makes it look like I am more active than am in reality. A ‘snap shot’ of how I am when I go out would not be a true reflection of how I am ‘on average’ over a longer period such as over a whole week. Can the Defendant only provide such a ‘snap shot’ and try to say that I am fraudulent without real proof?



Dear Tom

Your question can be dealt with in two parts.

With regard to the surveillance, the Defendant would have to provide all the surveillance that has been taken in order to use it. They cannot simply provide the bits and pieces that suit their needs. It is therefore very unlikely that they will only have surveillance of your ‘good’ days. They would have to follow you for a number of days to ensure they have enough footage as they cannot know when you will be out and what you will be doing.

Therefore, any surveillance that they disclose should be more than a simple ‘snap shot’.

With regard to fraud, the Defendant will have to be very careful about any allegations that you are being fraudulent. The Court does not take lightly an allegation of fraud where there is no real evidence to support such a claim. The court has ways of putting ‘sanctions’ on the Defendant if it feels that they have over stepped the mark. Therefore, you should not have to worry about any allegations of fraud provided that you have prepared a good, detailed witness statement that covers the way your fibromyalgia has affected you and stresses what you can do on better days as well as what you cannot do on worse days


Brian Barr

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