After a serious injury, you might feel like your every move is being watched and scrutinized by the insurance company. Sometimes, you’re right. Adjusters use private investigators and surveillance techniques to discredit victims and reduce the value of their claims.
Below, Crosley Law outlines some simple ways you can protect yourself.
Insurance Companies Use Private Investigators to Damage a Victim’s Credibility
Insurance companies are skeptical of almost every injury claim and are always looking for reasons to deny them. If they suspect you’re not being completely honest with them, the adjuster will likely hire a private investigator to track your activities.
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The investigator’s sole goal is getting footage that suggests you’re not as disabled as you claim. Unfortunately, it’s easy to “cherry pick” images and video. While the investigator may get video of you lifting what seems to be a heavy bag of groceries or doing chores, they probably won’t report how you had to rest for hours after the activity.
Learn How to Identify Common Surveillance Tactics
Private investigators do more than hide out in unmarked cars. They use a variety of technology to secretly track and monitor accident victims.
- Fixed surveillance: Sometimes called a “stakeout,” the investigator or an electronic device (like a camera) monitors your activities from one location
- Electronic surveillance: Investigators monitor your online presence looking for damaging photos, comments, and other information
- Tracking: Investigators follow you or use GPS trackers to monitor your whereabouts
“It’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings during an injury claim.”
While insurance company surveillance might seem like a violation of your privacy, much of it is legal in Texas. As long as the investigator follows the law and doesn’t trespass on your property, film you in private areas (like a bathroom), or threaten you, their activities are probably legal.
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It’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings during an injury claim. For example, if you see an unfamiliar car parked in front of your house for extended periods of time, you might be under surveillance. If you suspect you’re the subject of insurance company monitoring, report your concern to your injury lawyer immediately.
5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Insurance Company Surveillance
While insurance companies love surveillance videos, most investigations don’t uncover fraud. Instead, they show victims trying to live as normal a life as possible. Still, the injury attorneys at Crosley Law suggest that you follow these simple tips, which may help reduce the impact of surveillance footage.
1. Follow Your Doctors’ Restrictions
Whether or not you suspect you’re under surveillance, it’s always in your best interest to follow your doctors’ recommendations about activity and treatment to the best of your ability. For example, if your doctor assigns you a five-pound lifting restriction, don’t try to carry a 50-pound bag of dog food into the house. You might reinjure yourself and video of you carrying that heavy load could damage your claim.
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2. You Don’t Have to Let Investigators Into Your Home or on Your Property
While investigators can film you, they can’t enter your property without your consent. That means you do not have to let them onto your land or into your home. If you ask them to leave and they refuse, they are trespassing.
3. Limit Your Social Media Activity
Electronic surveillance is one of the easiest and most effective ways to monitor crash victims. People tend to overstate their abilities and avoid talking about hardship online. If it has access to your profiles, the insurance company will use your social media feed against you. After a crash, make your profiles private, avoid posting things that could be used against you, and ask your friends to do the same.
4. Call 911 if You Feel Unsafe or Harassed
If an investigator refuses to leave your property, tampers with your mail, places a GPS tracker on your vehicle without consent, threatens you, or makes you feel unsafe, you should call the police. You should also contact law enforcement and your Crosley Law attorney if you suspect someone hacked your accounts or used deceitful tactics to obtain information.
5. Consult with a Crosley Law Injury Attorney
At Crosley Law, we’re very familiar with insurance company surveillance tactics. We also know how to minimize their impact. If you’re concerned that you’re under surveillance, contact us today. Our attorneys can educate you about your legal options and help you build a strategy that minimizes the impact of the investigator’s report.
For example, we represented a 71-year-old woman who was injured in a head-on collision. During the claim, she started noticing a car parked outside her house and felt as if someone was following her. One morning, our client discovered that someone had taken the air out of one of her tires and she had to call her adult son to help with the repair. She thought that she had a stalker.
In fact, the insurance company had paid an investigator to trail her and take surveillance video. They had removed air from her tire in hopes that she would incriminate herself by putting on the spare. At trial, Crosley Law’s lawyers emphasized how intimidated and frightened our elderly client felt. We had the jury watch the video. In the end, the jurors were so angry at the insurance company’s behavior that they awarded our client a larger verdict than expected.
We also use cutting-edge techniques to support our clients’ claims. Sometimes, this includes working with teams of experts — including physicians, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists — to identify the cause of the crash, explain our clients’ injuries, and document their damages.