Yes. If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you may expect his insurance company to treat you fairly and settle your claim for compensation quickly.
Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster might look for ways to deny or reduce your claim. One strategy some insurance companies use is to hire a private investigator to put you under surveillance.
Insurance Company Surveillance
Insurance companies don't hire private investigators in all crash cases. If you only suffered more minor injuries that didn't require you to take too much time off work, they may not use this tactic.
However, here are a few reasons why they might do this on your case:
- They have questions about whether you're truthful about the severity of your injuries.
- They're checking to see if you're engaging in any activities you claim you're too hurt to do.
- They're looking for evidence to deny or reduce your claim. For example, if the investigator has a photo of you entering a bowling alley, the insurance adjuster could use it to assert you're not as seriously injured as you say, even if you just went there to eat a meal with family or friends.
Insurance companies are allowed to engage in surveillance of you in public places, but not in your home or place of business.
Private investigators may use more than one person may watch you, and they might drive different vehicles to hide their actions.
It's permissible for them to take photos or videos. In addition, they may try to interview neighbors or co-workers, as well as search social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, for damaging posts to suggest you're not as injured as you state.
An insurance company could spy on you at any time while your claim is pending, but is most likely to send out investigators before a deposition or jury trial. Then, any potentially-damaging evidence obtained during surveillance could be presented at the deposition or during a jury trial cross-examination.
Steps to Take If You Suspect Being Watched
As much as you may not like it, you can't stop an insurance company from using this tactic. However, there are steps you can take if you suspect surveillance:
- Don't engage in any actions inconsistent with your injuries.
- Act normally if you believe you're under surveillance.
- Don't confront an individual who you suspect is a private investigator.
- Be careful about what you post on social media. Don't discuss your claim, injuries, or any other information the insurance company can use against you.
- Discuss these concerns with your attorney. He can give you further advice on how to best handle being spied upon and your rights.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.