If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident, in the workplace, or on someone else’s property, you will most likely be dealing with an insurance company if you are planning to file a claim for damages. And although insurance companies market themselves as “good neighbors” and “the good hands people”, they are definitely not on your side when you are seeking to recover compensation from them for your injuries. The primary goal of the insurer is to pay out as little as possible for their client’s actions, and as such, their interests are not aligned with yours.
The insurance company is definitely not your ally when you are involved in an injury claim, but how far will they go to protect their interests? It turns out that they will often go a lot further than most people realize.
One question that injury victims often have is – can an insurance company follow me around after my accident?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “yes they can”. It is not only legal for them to follow you, it is also common practice among many insurers.
The justification for insurance companies to use private investigators is to prevent fraudulent injury claims. Insurance fraud is a reality, and insurers have a right to investigate claims to verify that they are valid. However, these investigations are most commonly used to uncover information that can be twisted and taken out of context to undermine legitimate claims.
Common Insurance Company Investigation Tactics
One of the most common tactics in insurance company will use is to perform surveillance on an injury claimant. A private investigator who is familiar with these types of claims will often follow the claimant around taking video and observing their day-to-day activities. They may be following you as you go to doctor’s appointments, run errands, go to church, go out to dinner, and do outdoor activities.
Surveillance is usually very subtle, and most claimants do not notice that they are being tracked. Rarely will investigators follow directly behind the claimant’s vehicle or walk right behind them. It is usually fairly easy for them to do video surveillance in public places like parks and malls without getting too close. All of this is legal, as long as they are watching the claimant’s actions in public and not trespassing on private property (such as their home or place of work).
Another area where injury claimants need to watch out is on social media. It is best to stay as quiet as possible on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms until your claim is settled. Insurance company investigators are very good at uncovering social media activity, even if you believe that you have the strictest privacy settings. They will often take comments, photos, and videos and twist them around to argue that your injury is not as serious as you are claiming.
Dealing with Insurance Company Surveillance Tactics
While you should be aware that the insurer through which you have filed your claim is likely to be following you, you should not let that keep you from living your life as you normally would. Just be sure to follow all of your doctor’s recommendations and make sure that you are not doing any physical activities that are inconsistent with your injuries.
For example, if you are not supposed to do any heavy lifting because of a back injury, avoid carrying heavy groceries and better yet, have someone else do your grocery shopping or have them delivered to you. And as we discussed earlier, say as little as possible in any electronic format and even suspend your social media accounts for a while until your case is resolved.
Protecting your Legal Rights During an Injury Claim
Surveilling injury claimants is just one of numerous tactics that insurance companies use to undermine a claim and avoid paying damages. These are professionals who will go to great lengths to minimize the amount they have to