Neighborhood Canvass


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Neighborhood Canvass

  1. 1. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 CONDUCTING NEIGHBORHOOD CANVASSES AS A TOOL IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS INVESTIGATION A. REASONS FOR A CANVASS: 1. Insurers have the legal right to verify the circumstances of claims presented to them. We have the obligation to our clients to verify claims to ensure that only meritorious claims are paid. 2. Most claims are meritorious, but a percentage of claims are fraudulent. Fraud by it’s very nature is a covert crime. The only way to determine if a fraud is being perpetrated is to investigate the claim and verify it. There are quot;indicatorsquot; which may alert us to claims, which require closer investigation than others. When these indicators are present, additional investigation may be indicated. 3. Sometimes the only way we have to verify a person's activity level or employment status is through a process of elimination. a) We investigate to eliminate the possibility that they might be employed or otherwise engaged in significant physical activity while reporting that they are disabled. 4. A neighborhood canvass provides an independent verification of the injured worker’s limitations and capabilities. B. COMMON OBJECTIVES OF A WORKER’S COMPENSATION CANVASS: 1. Confirm the degree of an Injured worker’s physical activity or restrictions. 2. Establish the injured worker’s employment status while receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. 3. Confirm that the cause of the Injured worker’s disability is attributable to AOE/COE injury. C. DETERMINING WHEN A CANVASS IS APPROPRIATE: 1. Before conducting a canvass, and during the canvass itself, we must periodically critically examine the process. a) What do we already know about the injured worker? b) What do we suspect might be going on with this injured worker? c) How credible is this information? d) What is our objective? What specifically do we want to accomplish? e) What type of information are we seeking to accomplish this? Page 1 of 17
  2. 2. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 2. How likely is it that we will develop meaningful information from the canvass, Consider the venue. a) If the injured worker lives in a urban apartment building, his/her neighbor may not have any knowledge of their neighbor. b) If the injured worker lives in a rural area, his/her neighbors could be several miles away. Determine how far away the injured worker lives from them in terms of distance. c) If the injured worker lives in a non-English speaking neighborhood, should someone who is fluent in that language conduct the interview? d) If the injured worker lives in a very poor neighborhood, his/her neighbors may not have telephones. Consider using a FOTS (Feet on the Street) canvass. 3. Is a canvass the best method to locate this information? Consider the potential impacts of doing a canvass. How does the quot;risk versus potential rewardquot; ratio compare? a) Will the canvass cause an unrepresented worker to seek counsel, thereby driving up the costs of the claim, and delaying settlement? b) Will the canvass damage rapport between the claimant and the claims representative? 4. Telephone VS. FOTS a) Assess whether a telephone canvass or a FOTS canvass is appropriate. Each has its advantages: b) The telephone canvass is quicker, less expensive, allows contacts with more potential witnesses. c) If a party is not available at the time of call, it is easy to re-contact them later. d) Some people would be reluctant to let a stranger into their home, they may feel more comfortable talking on the telephone. e) The telephone canvass is safer for the investigator. f) Limits the canvass to those parties that have listed telephones numbers g) Limits the adjuster's ability to get a quot;feelquot; for the neighborhood and it’s residents. Page 2 of 17
  3. 3. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 5. FOTS Canvass: (Feet on the Street) a) Time consuming b) More expensive c) More dangerous d) Allows the adjuster to quot;get a feelquot; for the people and the area. e) Allows contact with persons without accessible telephone numbers. f) May produce better results, as people are sometimes more willing to speak face to face. 5. What alternative methods of seeking this information exist? a) Public records checks b) Sub-rosa surveillance D. PLANNING THE CANVASS: 1. What is already known about the injured worker? a) Physical Description b) Former occupation/activity level c) Claimed injury, date of Injury d) Extent of Claimed Physical Limitations i.e. Sitting, Lifting, Walking, Running, Reaching e) Prescribed medical appliances: Cervical Collar, Cane, Crutches, Tens Unit Brace, Wrist, Knee Back 2. What is reason there is to question the injured worker: a) Source of Injuries b) Extent of Injuries c) Actual Physical Capabilities d) Employment Status e) Rehabilitation Prospects Page 3 of 17
  4. 4. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 3. What is suspected? 4) What is this based upon? a) How credible/timely is this information? E. DETERMINE YOUR OBJECTIVE WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION ARE WE SEEKING? 1. Pre-define what you are looking for and focus your inquiry accordingly. a) What do you know about the subject, what do you want to know about him/her? Focus your canvass and limit it to these objectives. Do not go on a quot;fishing expedition”. Typical objectives include seeking information concerning: 2. Prior/subsequent employment. a) Confirm the type and amount of employment held by the injured worker prior to his/her injury. b) Determine if the injured worker is already trained and working in another comparable field of employment and whether or not retraining is actually necessary. c)To determine if the subject has been employed while receiving benefits. 3. Use of Prescribed Medical Appliances 4. Activity Levels a) Does the injured worker appear able to move with great difficulty only while attending hearings on his/her case? b) Determine if the subject is active beyond his/her stated capabilities. c) Determine if the injured worker is capable of or in need of retraining or rehabilitation. 5. Prior/subsequent injuries. a) Did the claimed injuries occur prior to being employed by the insured? c) Were the claimed injuries exacerbated by a subsequent, intervening injury? 6. AOE/COE: Determination? a) Did the injury occur as a result of a non-job-related accident, but was claimed to be job-related due to lack of medical insurance? Page 4 of 17
  5. 5. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 7. What will the scope of the canvass be? Determine how broad and in-depth a canvass should be. This depends upon: a) How great a likelihood of fraud exists? b) The degree of claimed physical restriction versus the probable degree of physical activity of the injured worker. c) The value of the claim versus costs of investigation. d) The likelihood of locating cooperative witnesses. e) The degree of knowledge and cooperation of neighbors. 8. Periodically re-think the process: 1. At various stages, you must re-examine your premises. Is the known or assumed information upon which you decided to conduct the canvass still valid? a) How much information have you gathered? b) Have you accomplished what you set out to do? c) Is it prudent to continue to call additional neighbors? 2. Know when to stop! F. CONDUCTING THE CANVASS: 1. Timing of the interview: a) Day of Week: a.1) Fridays are often particularly good days to obtain information from neighbors. They are often in a good mood in anticipation of the weekend after a hard week at work. b) Time of Day: b.1) It is often difficult to reach neighbors during normal business hours. The majority of households have two working adults, and the majority of those work normal business hours. b.2) The best time is usually just before or just after dinner. b.3) An evening call implies that the information the neighbor has is important enough to be pursued outside of conventional business hours. Page 5 of 17
  6. 6. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 c) Relative to Sub Rosa: c.1) If sub rosa surveillance of a subject is going to be performed, try to do the sub rosa before the neighborhood canvass. Expect that word of your canvass will get back to the injured worker. 2. Obtaining background information: a) Current and previous addresses. The claim file may or may not have a current residence address. b) Beware of addresses showing a street address and quot;Unit #____quot; or quot;Suite #_____.quot; These may be postal box addresses. c) A good way to find the injured worker's current or previous address is through a Data Investigations Group (DIG) search. This will provide all the addresses used by the subject under his/her SSN(s) for credit reporting purposes. Two SSN's of record may indicate a husband and wife's SSN's intermixed for credit purposes. d) Do not overlook canvassing previous addresses. Former landlords and neighbors can be excellent sources of information. Cross check the dates of employment and injury in the claim file against the dates used on the DIG search. Determine which address is most likely to be the injured worker’s former and current residential addresses. 3. Neighborhood listing: a) Obtain a listing of nearby neighbors by requesting a quot;Neighborhood searchquot; through DIG. b) DIG can provide up to 30 neighbors. 4. Limitations: a) Neighborhood scans generally have only persons with listed telephone numbers. b) Completeness varies by location. Generally, expect about 60% of the neighbors with listed phone numbers to be found. c) Lower economic areas tend to have higher turnover of residents, and fewer people with telephone service. In these areas, information is less complete. d) Older, stable neighborhoods where residents have lived there for several years are more likely to have more comprehensive listings. Page 6 of 17
  7. 7. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 5. Alternate sources: a) Assessor's records will have a more complete record of the names of property owners. b) If the injured worker is renting his home, current and previous landlords may be a good source of information. c) Real property records are available on line through DIG. 6. Who do you call first? a) Look for house numbers, which you are missing from your list. These residents may have unlisted telephone numbers, or may have recently moved in. As you speak with each resident, ask him/her if he knows who the resident is at the missing addresses. b) Generally, canvass from the outside fringe of the neighborhood inward towards the injured worker's residence. Persons living next door are most likely to be friends of the injured worker, and may be more reluctant to provide information. Generally, count five house numbers to either side of the subject's residence and start there. 7. Structuring questions. a) Avoid questions that can be answered by Yes or No. Ask open-ended questions wherever possible. Go from general too specific. b) Do not ask leading questions, i.e. did you see the insured burn his house down. This statement infers the insured burned his house. 8. The interview itself, the initial contact: a) Cold calls are best. If a party is not home when the adjuster calls, it is often better to hang up, annotate the file, and to call another time. b) If you call and leave a message describing what you wish to talk to them about, it increases the likelihood that the word will get back to the injured worker and that the neighbor will not return your call. 9. Opening statement: a) Identify yourself, and whom you are representing b) Never misrepresent yourself. Many people assume that when someone calls them at home from an insurance company that they are selling something. You may want to tell them right up front that you're not calling to sell them anything. Page 7 of 17
  8. 8. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 10 Purpose of Calling: a) Inform them that you are conducting a quot;routine claim verificationquot; involving one of their neighbors. Ask them if they could take a few moments to answer some questions. a.1) Note that the matter is a quot;routine claim verificationquot; b) We have no right or need to indicate that there might be a question about the validity of the claim. c) If they decline to continue the conversation, you have not revealed the injured worker’s name. d) If they elect to continue, indicate the matter concerns Mr. or Ms. _______ who has presented a Workers’ Compensation claim. e) Be prepared for the neighbor to ask you: e.1) Why are you calling me? Consider the following response: quot;We often routinely verify information concerning injured workers by talking with people who live near them. It often helps us to confirm information already in the file, and sometimes gives us new information concerning a worker's capabilities and activity levels.quot; e.2) Why do you need this information? We routinely confirm claim information to ensure that meritorious claims are promptly paid, and only meritorious claims are paid. e.3) If I give you information, what are you going to do with it? Any relevant information you may provide will become a part of our claim file, and will be used in evaluating the claim. Never promise that something will be kept in confidence or quot;off the record.quot; Everything is subject to discovery. f) Anticipate Reluctance: f.1) You may encounter antagonistic or hostile individuals. We need to keep the interview non-confrontational and non-adversarial. If the individual is reluctant to provide information at this point, terminate the call. Page 8 of 17
  9. 9. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 10. LEVEL 1- Establish a relationship between the neighbor and the injured worker. What sort of questions do you want to ask? a)quot;I'd like to inquire concerning Mr./Ms (------)'s activity level and their limitations as a result of their injuries.quot; b) Do you know the injured worker? c) In what capacity: Neighbor, Acquaintance/Friend/Enemy, Related, Co-worker. d) Are you aware of the injured worker's reported injury? If they are not aware of any injury, no problem. It is not our place to quot;broadcast the injured worker’s medical history. e) To your knowledge, what is the nature and approximate date of the injured worker’s injury? f) Could you describe the injured worker’s level of physical activity as you know it? This is intended to be a very broad question. 11. By this point, you will often be able to tell how the rest of the interview is going to go. a) You will have a feel for how knowledgeable and cooperative the neighbor is. b) Some of the possibilities are: b.1) The interviewee does not know anything or quot;doesn't want to get involved.quot; b.2) The interviewee knows the injured worker and knows he/she is legitimately incapacitated as a result of his/her injury and is willing to answer questions. b.3) The interviewee is going to turn hostile towards you. b.4) The interviewee is a concerned citizen who will answer those questions asked, but will not volunteer information. In this case, you have to recognize this and be thorough in your questioning. b.5) The interviewee is delighted that you called, and can't wait to tell you what he/she knows. b.6) The more cooperative a witness becomes, the more important your professional detachment becomes. b.7) Make a decision to terminate the call at this point. Page 9 of 17
  10. 10. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 11. LEVEL 2 – Conduct deeper probes concerning the injured worker. a) Assuming the person indicates knowledge of the injured worker and is still receptive to answering questions: a.1) How/when did you first become aware of the injured worker’s injury? (First hand from the injured worker versus third-hand) b) Relationship to the injured worker. b.1) How long have you known the injured worker? b.2) How close is your home from his/hers? b.3) Number of houses away, and/or distance b.4) How often do you observe/come in contact with the injured worker? b.5) When did you first come in contact with the injured worker? b.6) When did you last come in contact with the injured worker? b.7) Can you describe him/her? b.8) Does the injured worker manifest pain behavior i.e. Able to sit comfortably for prolonged periods of time, able to easily lift objects? b.9) What does the injured worker do during the day? b.10) Does the injured worker engage in household or vehicle maintenance, which requires physical activity beyond claimed limits? To what extent? How often? b.11) Does the injured worker engage in hobbies or sporting activities, which require physical activity beyond claimed limits? C. Use of Prescribed Medical Appliances? c.1) Examples: Cervical Collar, Cane, Crutches Tens Unit, Brace, Wrist and Knee c.2) How often does injured worker use them? c.3) When has neighbor seen injured worker without them? How many times seen etc? Page 10 of 17
  11. 11. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 12. Employment at the time of the injury: a) Does the neighbor's knowledge of the injured worker’s job description match that described in the claim file? b) Was the injured worker actually engaged in a more strenuous/dangerous occupation, which may have, been quot;under-reportedquot; by the insured to get a lower premium? c) Did the injured worker have any other quot;outsidequot; full or part time employment at the time of the injury? This undisclosed employment could have been the actual cause of the injured worker’s injury, but might not have been covered by Worker’s Compensation insurance. 13. Employment subsequent to the injury a) Is the injured worker currently employed? Has the injured worker been employed at all since the injury? b) What physical clues are there that might suggest that the injured is working? E.G. dresses in work clothes, leaves clean, comes home soiled, carries tools of trade with him or in a vehicle. c) Goes out and comes back at times consistent with a person who is employed. d) Is often picked up by a vehicle with others who appear to be working also. 14. Types of other injuries: a) Sports Injuries b) Automobile/Motorcycle Accidents c) Household Accidents d) Other Employment Injuries e) Slip and Fall Outside the Home 15. Any changes in the neighbor’s relationship with the injured worker a) This might give you insight as to the person's motive and/or credibility for discussing the injured worker with you. Page 11 of 17
  12. 12. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 16. Other possible sources of information: a) quot;If you were me, who would you recommend that I talk to next?quot; b) quot;Is there anyone you would recommend that not discuss this with? (Why?) c) The injured worker may have close friends/neighbors/relatives that it would be counter-productive to talk to. 17. Level 3 – neighbor provides information concerning the injured worker on a continuing basis. a) Level three information would include situations where the neighbor agrees to notify you when the injured worker is engaged in activities beyond their claimed limitations. b) It is very important to maintain a quot;professional detachmentquot; while establishing/maintaining rapport with the source. 18. Determining the value of information: a)The value of information depends upon its relevance, the credibility of its source, its accuracy and the ability to obtain confirmation. 19. Hearsay VS direct evidence: a) The most important question to ask over and over in any investigation is quot;How do you know this to be true?quot; b) Under what circumstances did the neighbor become aware of this information? Is their knowledge firsthand or hearsay? c) Recognize potentially relevant hearsay for what it is, uncorroborated second or third (or more) hand information. Do not dismiss it as being without value, but do not treat it as fact. It must be clearly labeled as hearsay and must not be used by itself as a basis for action. d) Attempts must be made to corroborate hearsay that is to trace it back to a source with firsthand knowledge to confirm its accuracy. Remember that each time information changes hands, it becomes filtered and/or distorted. Hearsay should be treated as a potential investigative lead rather than evidence or a basis for action. 20. Firsthand knowledge: a) Have the witness describe under what circumstances he/she gained firsthand knowledge. Did the subject tell you himself/herself? Did you observe this directly yourself? Was anyone else present with you? What did he/she see/hear? quot;Who else might have knowledge of this?quot; Page 12 of 17
  13. 13. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 G. CORROBORATING INFORMATION 1. Corroborating information is vital to every investigation. Corroboration both confirms the validity of a witness' account and adds credibility to it. b) Investigating is like quot;Building a Stoolquot;. Each source of direct information builds quot;a legquot; under our stool. Each source, which is able to provide direct corroboration of key information, puts another quot;legquot; under the stool, making it stronger. c) Both hearsay and direct evidence need to be corroborated whenever possible. d) Corroboration also helps to protect the source's identity if we can locate additional direct sources that can confirm the information. 2. Age of information: a) Often information, which has recently been observed by a neighbor, is more credible than an observation, which may have occurred several months previously. To determine the freshness of information, ask neighbors: a.1) When did you first become aware of this? a.2) (If recurring) Since then, How many times have you observed this event? 3. Credibility of source: a) Be skeptical. Not all claimants are frauds and not all-cooperative witnesses are credible. A witness may have a grudge or other hidden agenda, may be a pathological liar, or may simply be mistaken. b) There are any number of reasons that interviewing a honest witness can result in distorted information, i.e.: faulty perception, faulty recollection, faulty description, faulty interpretation, faulty reporting. c) Ask yourself: what is motivating this person to provide me with this information? What does he/she hope to gain? d) Beware of the person who embellishes information. If they are extremely eager to tell you information, be especially wary of inconsistencies. These may be signs that the witness is not credible. e) Former spouses require exceptionally careful handling. They may be in a position to provide excellent insight into the injured worker’s activities. f) Beware, that they may be relying upon the injured worker’s income to provide child support payments. They may view your investigation as a threat to their own finances. Page 13 of 17
  14. 14. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 g) Former spouses may also have quot;an axe to grind.quot; Beware that they may provide false or exaggerated information to quot;get backquot; at their quot;ex.quot; h) This is an area where corroboration of information is particularly important. H. KNOW WHEN TO STOP 1. Stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish and constantly re-evaluate it as you continue the investigation. 2. Re-Evaluate the need to continue the canvass as you go on. How much information have you gathered? Is it prudent to continue with the interview of this neighbor? 3. Consider the relevance of the information you are receiving. Certain types of information will not be relevant to your inquiry. If you know the type of information the witness is providing is not relevant, re-focus your questioning accordingly. 4. Terminate the interview if it becomes apparent the interview is not going well. You shouldn't have to quot;pull teethquot; to get the information. If you have to struggle for it, the information probably isn't worth it. 5. Generally, you will get only quot;one shotquot; at information before the neighbors have quot;second thoughtsquot; and they become reluctant to become further involved. I. KNOW HOW TO STOP 1. If the contact isn't going anywhere, or if the conversation is degenerating, thank the neighbor for their time and input, and bid them goodbye. Don't drag it out. J. THE CLOSING: (COOPERATIVE WITNESS) 1. Verbally summarize information provided by a cooperative witness. 2. Double check to make sure you have determined the basis of each key point the witness' knowledge (first hand vs. hearsay) and have sought means of corroborating this information. This allows the witness to re-affirm the account. 3. This allows a chance for both the investigator and the neighbor to seek/provide clarification. 4. Ask the neighbor quot;Is there anything that we have not covered that you feel I should know?quot; 5. Consider the feasibility of getting a recorded statement concerning the information gathered. 6. If a source has been particularly helpful and has provided significant relevant information, you may want to breach the subject of testifying in a deposition at a later date. Page 14 of 17
  15. 15. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 K. OTHER POSSIBLE LEADS: 1. Always solicit further leads. Even if the party proclaims that they do not know anything about the injured worker, ask them if they can refer you to someone that might be in a position to be familiar with the injured worker. If you ask for two or three referrals, they will invariably give you two. If you ask for one, they will only give you one. 2. If you are looking for someone, and the occupant says they no longer live there, ask if other people have been coming around looking for this person. Often times, “low lifes” and other investigators/police/creditors will be looking for this person also. Give the current occupant your business card and ask them to share your information with “legitimate” persons who might come looking for your subject. This can help you connect with other parties that are also searching for your subject. Together, you may both be able to find the Subject. L. EXPRESS YOUR APPRECIATION: 1. Thank the party for their cooperation in the matter. Remember they have allowed you into their home, and taken time of their personal life to help you do your job. M. ATTEMPT CONFIDENTIALITY: 1. Ask that they maintain confidentiality. quot;I would appreciate it if you held our conversation in confidence, out of respect for the privacy of the injured worker.quot; N. KEEP THE DOOR OPEN: 1. Always leave the door open for future contacts. quot;If we should need to, would it be possible for me to give you a call again sometime in the future? quot; 2. Make sure they know how to get in touch with you if further information develops. a) quot;If there is something else that you think of, or something occurs which you think I should be aware of, please don't hesitate to call me.quot; O. WATCH WHAT YOU SAY 1. Do not describe your investigation as an investigation of a suspected fraudulent or questionable claim. 2. Do not say anything to the neighbors that you wouldn't say to the injured worker in a court of law. You may just find yourself in exactly that position. 3. Assume that the person you are calling is the brother or sister of the injured worker. He/she may just be. Page 15 of 17
  16. 16. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 P. DOCUMENTING THE INTERVIEW: 1. Take notes before, during and after the canvass. Don't rely on mental notes. 2. Document all contacts, even those that are unproductive. This will show what efforts have been made on the file and will prevent someone else from contacting a hostile neighbor in the future. 3. Complete your report immediately while your memory is fresh and your notes make sense. Reports written from old notes or memory are often incomplete and/or inaccurate. R. CRITIQUE YOURSELF: 1. Ask yourself: a) What went well with the canvass? b) What could I have done better? c) What new information did I develop? d) Have I addressed all the elements? e) What potential pitfalls could there be with this or other similar situations? f) What new skill did I develop? S. DEFAMATION/INVASION OF PRIVACY 1. While conducting a canvass, don't give out sensitive information. Don't discuss information, which divulges information about the injured worker, which is unfavorable or derogatory, or something they could know or readily find out from public sources. Your purpose is to gather information, not to swap gossip. If a neighbor asks for information, which you should not give out, simply reply quot;I couldn't tell you that.quot; Failure to heed this may result in tort action against you and the company. T. PROFESSIONAL DETACHMENT: 1. The need for professionalism is foremost. It will help you gain the confidence of the party to whom you are speaking and will reflect credit upon you and the company. a) Your questions and statements must be neutral and non-judgmental. Never color your remarks with gratuitous negative comments or chat, regardless of your prior knowledge of the person. 2. No matter how quot;openquot; and cooperative the person you are contacting becomes, do not allow yourself to become quot;chummyquot; with them. You may say something you wish you hadn't. Always remain professionally detached. Page 16 of 17
  17. 17. Copyright 2007 Seattle Insurance and Legal Investigations (206) 992-1555 U. ARE YOU BEING RECORDED? 1. Everything you say may be repeated to the injured worker, so watch what you say. 2. Assume the person you are talking to is recording every word you say. He/she may just be. 3. Do not say anything that you would not want played back in a court of law. V. DO NOT LET LACK OF COOPERATION STOP YOU: 1. Expect many of the people you contact will be either reluctant or will refuse to give you any information. They could even be abusive and downright hostile. That is not unusual, it is their right, and is a part of the process. Don't let this discourage your efforts. Each quot;dead endquot; lead is one call closer to finding the person who will cooperate fully. Always be courteous, regardless of how your inquires are met. W. NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR OBJECTIVE 1. Keep focused on your objective. Restrict your inquiry to what is relevant to properly investigate the claim. 2. Do not carry the canvass beyond the realm of its intended scope. The purpose of the canvass is not just to quot;dig up dirtquot; on the injured worker. Information concerning the following areas would generally NOT be relevant to your canvass: a) Sexual orientation a) Criminal activity 3. If someone brings this type of information to your attention, discuss it with your supervisor immediately. Page 17 of 17