Surveillance in Personal Injury Cases: What Insurance Companies Can and Cannot Use
Personal Injury - October 12, 2022
To help reduce the amount paid out to you, insurance companies are known to hire private investigators and other surveillance experts to watch you after the accident. Their goal is to find you doing activities that diminish the severity of your injury.
An attorney helps to even the playing field against the insurance company. However, if the insurance company uses legal surveillance to find evidence that counters your injuries, your attorney’s best efforts might not be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
One of the experienced Illinois personal injury attorneys from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is standing by to provide a risk-free consultation on your case.
Call (800) 985-1819 now, and read on to learn more about what surveillance in personal injury cases and what insurance companies are actually allowed to do.
You Might Be Watched After the Accident
After being in an accident, the insurance company might use a variety of different surveillance methods to collect evidence so that they can disprove your injuries to pay less or nothing on them.
The amount of your damages includes not only your emergency room bills but also the lasting impact on your health. If you are feeling great on a particular day and forget about your injury and have some outdoor fun, the insurance company could be surveilling you.
If you engage in an activity that someone with your injury shouldn’t, the insurance company will claim you aren’t injured, that your evidence is false, and you are entitled to nothing.
An insurance company might use a variety of surveillance methods, including:
- Video – Video surveillance goes beyond simply viewing videos of the accident itself, but also includes recording the conduct of an injured person after the accident to collect evidence against the severity of their injuries.
- Audio – Audio surveillance can be in the form of listening-in on conversations in public, or it can take the form of simply exploring the various social media platforms that people use directly.
- Photographic – Photos, whether in the real world or taken from the internet, provide the insurance companies with visual evidence that could be used against your claim and compensation.
While you might think that surveillance means that a person is following you around trying to capture photos and video like an undercover police officer, this is not always the case. Much of the video, audio, and photographic evidence that might be used against you by the insurance company is collected through a much easier and less-involved location: social media.
Is it legal for insurance companies to use video surveillance?
Whether or not insurance companies can legally use video surveillance depends upon the facts and circumstances of the surveillance. If you are in a place where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like on private property with a fence around it, or in your own home, the insurance companies cannot violate privacy laws in pursuit of collecting video evidence on you.
If you are in a public place, where there is no expectation of privacy, the insurance company can generally use video surveillance legally.
Be Vigilant About What You Post on Social Media
While it might have become the norm to post just about any activity or outing on social media for your friends and followers to see, this can be harmful to your case. Any information that is posted onto a public social media account can also be viewed by the insurance company.
Even if your account is private, you might get a new friend request from someone who seems friendly, but is in fact an agent of the insurance company. After your accident, speak with your attorney for guidance on how to avoid risks associated with social media that could harm your compensation.
Don’t Let Insurance Undermine Your Claim. Call Us Today.
Accepting a settlement from the insurance company without working with an attorney can lead to you receiving less than you are entitled to. When you do not receive full damages for your injuries, you and your family will be left to cover the costs and bills associated with your injuries in the future.
Your case depends on effective advocacy, and one of the experienced personal injury attorneys from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is standing by to provide a risk-free, cost-free consultation on your case.
Reach out today to schedule a consultation or call (800) 985-1819 now!