Insurance company profits depend on premiums exceeding the amount paid out for claims. This business model makes adjusters look for reasons to deny or devalue claims, even legitimate ones. Do not be fooled by an insurance adjuster offering to work with you to achieve a fair outcome for your claim.
When you file an accident claim, the insurance company can legally gather information about you to build a case against you. With some limitations, they are allowed to use surveillance tactics, including hiring a private investigator to follow you around or monitor your online activity.
Private investigators are legally allowed to take photos or video of you while you are on public property or somewhere privacy is not expected. For example, an investigator can record you in your own front yard if it is visible from a public street. They may follow you to and from work, to the gym or to the residence of a friend or family member.
It is not legal for a private investigator to trespass on private property to take a photo or video of you. Private investigators must have permission from the property owner to be on private property and that permission may be taken away at any time.
Insurers use a variety of tactics to spy on car crash victims, including “desktop surveillance” or monitoring your social media accounts. They will carefully review what you post, as well as any posts your friends and family “tag” you in.
The insurance company may also conduct a background check for any past criminal charges or other legal troubles.
Private investigators are trained to remain undetected, making it difficult to determine when you are being spied on. It is wise to assume that all of your public activities could be monitored by the insurance company.
If you happen to spot an unfamiliar car in your neighborhood, then see that same car parked near your job, it could be an investigator. You may also have a tail if you notice a vehicle behind you making the same turns for the duration of your trip.
A few insurance companies routinely use surveillance during the early stages of a claim. Surveillance use becomes more likely with cases involving severe injuries and claims that may be worth a significant amount of money. With significant, high-value cases, the insurance company has increased motivation to deny or devalue the claim.
Insurance companies seek information that undermines the credibility of a personal injury victim to help devalue the claim or connect with the jury if the claim goes to trial.
It is in your best interest to protect your credibility and establish and maintain honesty. As a car accident victim, you should:
Do not exaggerate or speculate on your injuries. Do not discuss your accident on social media. Any inconsistencies in your statements to the insurance company may be used against you.
Insurance companies are in the business of protecting their own interests. If you have been injured in a car accident, consider hiring an experienced attorney. Call a Sacramento car accident lawyer today so we may determine how we may be able to help you build a strong case for maximum compensation.
At the Arnold Law Firm, we do not charge for reviewing your claim, and we only get paid if we recover compensation on your behalf
Call us today at (916) 777-7777 to schedule a free consultation.