After a car wreck, you may feel like your every move is being scrutinized. If you notice an unfamiliar car parked in front of your home, school, or workplace, or if you receive a strange friend request on social media, a private investigator might be tracking your activities. Insurance adjusters frequently use investigators to damage crash victims’ credibility, but you can protect yourself from intrusive surveillance efforts by following these simple tips from Crosley Law.
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How Do Insurance Companies Monitor Accident Victims?
An accident victim’s credibility can impact the validity and value of their injury claims. If a jury doesn’t think you are being honest about your symptoms and your level of limitation, it could result in an unfavorable verdict. Insurance companies understand this and sometimes search for evidence that damages your credibility.
Private investigators have many options when they’re surveilling an accident victim.
- Electronic Surveillance: Investigators search for damaging information online, especially in your social media feeds.
- Stakeouts: Sometimes called “fixed surveillance,” a private investigator watches you from a set location to monitor your activities and even who you’re surrounding yourself with.
- Stationary Technical Surveillance: An unmanned device, such as a camera, records your activities from a set location.
- Tracking: An investigator follows you throughout your day, monitoring your activities and routine.
Many times, investigators will use two or more of these tactics in tandem to ensure near constant surveillance.
What Should I Do if I Suspect a Private Investigator Is Watching Me?
First of all, insurance companies don’t use surveillance in every injury claim. You don’t need to hide inside your home with your blinds permanently shut just because you were involved in a car crash. However, you should follow some basic rules to protect yourself.
Don’t Embellish Your Story
When you fill out a form or speak with a doctor, it’s always in your best interest to give them honest and accurate information. This means you shouldn’t overstate your symptoms, speculate about your injuries, or change your story. Instead, stick to the facts that you know are true and be helpful without oversharing.
If there are inconsistencies in your statements, the insurance company will try to use them against you. You’ll also face a higher chance of surveillance if the insurance adjuster questions your honesty.
Follow Your Doctors’ Restrictions
Life doesn’t stop when you’re injured. You still have a family to care for and a home to maintain. On a good day, it can be tempting to push yourself to get caught up on all your chores and errands. Unfortunately, insurance companies will sometimes use footage of your “good” days or moments as a way to damage your credibility.
Even on your best day, you should follow your doctors’ restrictions to the best of your abilities. Ignoring your doctors’ advice can have additional consequences beyond inviting unfair surveillance. If you push yourself too much, you might also reaggravate your injuries.
Know Your Privacy Rights
While a private investigator typically can monitor you without your consent, there are limitations on their powers. Private investigators cannot:
- Record you in private areas of your home — such as your bedroom, living room, or bathroom without your permission
- Hack into your accounts or tap your phones
- Open your mail
- Enter your property without your consent
- Harass or threaten you
If you see someone trespassing on your property, you should immediately tell them to leave. If they refuse, call the police. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe approaching a potential investigator, you should contact law enforcement without bothering to speak with them or ask their business.
Limit Your Social Media Activity and Set Your Accounts to Private
Insurance companies love electronic surveillance. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be remarkably effective. People tend to portray themselves on social media as more active, happier, and healthier than they really are.
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While you don’t have to wipe your social media profiles entirely, you should make them private. You should also monitor your friends’ posts and ask them not to share photos or posts about you, your health, or your activities. Lastly, never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know.
“While you don’t have to wipe your social media profiles entirely, you should make them private. You should also monitor your friends’ posts and ask them not to share photos or posts about you, your health, or your activities. Lastly, never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know.”
A Skilled Injury Lawyer Can Sometimes Minimize the Impact of Surveillance
At Crosley Law, we understand that a single image or brief video can never tell an accident victim’s full story. If a private investigator records you walking your dog, taking your child to the park, or lifting grocery bags, don’t panic. Instead, consult with one of our experienced San Antonio injury lawyers.
We use cutting-edge techniques to explain and document our clients’ limitations and damages. Sometimes, we can reduce the impact of surveillance footage with expert testimony and aggressive advocacy.
Crosley Law: We Stand Up for San Antonio Accident Victims
Crosley Law is one of the most respected personal injury law firms in San Antonio. We use sophisticated techniques to investigate our clients’ claims and demand fair compensation for their injuries.