If you have been injured in an accident and you are involved in the claim against the responsible party’s insurer, you might start to get a nagging feeling that you are being watched. In some instances, this feeling might turn out to be more than just paranoia.
If you are asking yourself, “can insurance companies spy on me after I get hurt in an accident?”, the answer to that question is, yes they can, and sometimes they do.
It is not illegal for insurance companies to perform surveillance on accident injury victims, as long as they do not violate your privacy or break any other laws in the process. In general, this means that whenever you are doing anything that is within the public sphere, the insurance company might be watching you.
Why Would the Insurance Company Perform Surveillance on Me?
There are several reasons why an insurer might be watching you if you have filed an accident injury claim. First and foremost, the primary goal of the insurance company is to minimize the amount in damages they have to pay for the actions of their insureds. This is just business, and it is only natural that an insurer would want to protect their bottom line.
One way that an insurance company keeps their losses to a minimum is by aggressively combating insurance fraud. Unfortunately, there are those who exaggerate their injuries in order to get more compensation than they deserve, and insurance carriers frequently use surveillance in order to uncover fraudulent claims.
The problem is that insurers are skeptical about nearly all claimants, and they often operate with the general assumption that a claimant might be trying to defraud them. Now, they do not have the resources to employ heavy surveillance in every claim, so as you might guess, they are far more likely to spy on a claimant when there is a larger settlement at stake.
How Do Insurance Companies Spy on Accident Injury Claimants?
There are some different ways that insurance carriers may perform surveillance on injury claimants:
- Electronic Surveillance: The most common way that an insurance company might spy on you is through digital searches and websites where you may have posted something about your case. For example, they may search your Facebook and Instagram profiles for comments you have made regarding your accident and/or photos you have posted. Even photos that may not be directly related to your accident could be used against you, such as pictures of you having a good time on vacation with your family and friends.
- Passive Surveillance: In some cases when fraud might be suspected, an insurer might hire a private investigator to follow you and take photos of you in public places, such as going to the grocery store or walking around in a public park. An investigator may be looking for proof that you are exaggerating your injuries by showing that you are able to carry groceries into and out of your vehicle, for example.
- Active Surveillance: If an insurer suspects fraud in a higher value case, the surveillance might become more aggressive. This might include contacting colleagues, neighbors, and even friends and relatives to find out what these people know about your accident and your current health condition.
What Can I Do about Possible Insurance Company Surveillance?
If you think the insurance company is spying on you, there is no need to panic. As long as you have been honest about your injuries, then you will probably be okay. But that said, insurers can still take things out of context and try to paint you in the worst possible light in order to damage your claim.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from the possibility of insurance company surveillance:
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations. If your doctor has put restrictions on your activities, do not push yourself and try to do more than you should before you have given yourself enough time to heal. If you have been told not to go back to work until a certain period of time has passed, do not go back early. In addition, refrain from any other activities that might re-aggravate your injury.
- Limit your social media activity. While you have an ongoing injury claim, you should do as little as possible on social media. Do not make any posts or comments of your own, make sure you have the strictest privacy settings, and in particular, make sure none of your friends can tag you in any of their posts.
- Contact the authorities if you feel harassed. If an investigator enters your property without your consent or violates your privacy in any other way, contact law enforcement. Insurance companies can surveil you in public, but they are not allowed to stalk, harass, or threaten you.
- Retain experienced legal counsel. If you have been injured in an accident, recovering compensation can be a complicated process, and insurance companies will do whatever they can to undermine your claim. The best way to protect your rights and secure maximum compensation is to retain a skilled and knowledgeable attorney who is committed to looking out for your best interests.
Injured in an Accident in Alabama? Contact Hedge Copeland for Legal Help
If you or a loved one suffered injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, Hedge Copeland is here to help. Message us online or call our office today at (251) 432-8844 to schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys.