Following a personal injury accident, you have a lot on your mind. Between your devastating injuries and extensive medical bills, you may not realize that someone is videotaping everything you are doing in the hopes of catching something that may indicate that your injury is not that serious. However, in reality, this is precisely what the insurance company will do—use surveillance in personal injury cases.
Surveillance in Personal Injury Cases—Is It Legal?
In general, as long as an insurance company does not enter your place of employment or home, they are allowed to conduct surveillance on you, which they will do through an adjuster or an investigator. Typically, this surveillance begins right at the beginning of a case – usually well before deposition.
Common Areas Where Surveillance of You May Be Gathered
Even though insurance investigators must abide by the law—which means they cannot disturb your privacy to acquire video footage, such as peeking through your window to see what you are doing—they can obtain the footage while you are in a public setting. It is legal for them to record you walking outside, dining at a restaurant, shopping at the grocery store, visiting a park, or frequenting any other accessible public area.
Types of Surveillance That Can Be Used in a Personal Injury Case
Although surveillance by the insurer can include a variety of methods, some of the more common activities that adjusters and investigators will perform include the following:
Typically, an insurer will contract with investigators to follow you as you conduct your normal routine, such as heading to work, the gym, or even shopping. These investigators will try to catch you engaging in any activity that would not be possible if you were legitimately injured. As a result, with this video, the insurance company will try to discredit you and your claim.
Following a personal injury case, an insurance adjuster may try to visit your neighborhood or even your place of employment to interview your neighbors and coworkers. These adjusters will try to find out information from these people about the normal type of activities you perform while you are working or at home in the hopes of finding something that will go against your testimony.
Social Media Posts
Although getting your frustrations out on social media might be a good form of release after an accident, it is often not in your best interest. This is because insurance investigators can use anything they find on your Instagram, Facebook, or even LinkedIn against you.
For instance, if you post pictures of yourself having a good time with friends, engaging in physical activity, or having fun during outings, it can be submitted as evidence that your injuries are not as serious as you claim them to be. Even posts by family members and friends that have you tagged could be a source of information for the insurer.
What Happens if You Believe You Are Being Monitored?
If you believe the insurance company is having you followed, do not lose your cool. You need to remember that you cannot prevent this surveillance. But, there are things you can do to ensure you do not slip up and hurt your case.
- That is why in these instances, you want to make sure that you:
- Do not talk to the private investigator
- Inform your attorney of the people who are following you
- Try to stay away from your social media accounts
- Tell your family and friends not to tag you on social media platforms or engage with you there
- Decline interview requests, and notify your neighbors and other coworkers to also decline
After a Personal Injury Accident, Get the Legal Help You Need—Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Accident Attorney
If you have been hurt in an accident because of another person’s wrongful actions, you may believe that you will be fairly compensated for the losses you endured. Unfortunately, the reality is that this is not often the case. Insurance companies are businesses, and like other businesses, they want to make money. They will try to do anything to make you appear at fault for the accident, including using surveillance to find something they can use against you.
That is why, after a personal injury accident, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced personal injury accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can make sure your rights are protected as they fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. For these reasons, do not wait any longer to secure the legal help you need. Instead, contact a skilled accident attorney today for a free strategy session, and let them show you how they can help your case.