Nothing is quite as unsettling as feeling like you’re being watched. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you have that feeling, it might not just be paranoia. You might actually be under investigation by the other party’s insurance company. When victims file a claim, the insurance company looks for ways to discredit the claim so they can avoid paying out or at least pay out less. This often involves looking for wrongdoing on the victim’s part.
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence and you’re wondering about your legal options, we can help. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to schedule a consultation now.
Using Investigators is Legal
While it may feel like a significant invasion of your privacy, it is legal for the insurance company to investigate you after an accident injury. While they cannot infringe on you in private places, such as work or home, they can investigate you when you are in public and have no expectation of privacy. This might mean catching you going to your car, loading groceries into the car, picking up your kids at the park, or other daily life activities.
What They’re Looking For
Basically, the insurance company is looking for anything they can use to pay less on your claim or deny your claim completely. If you report a specific type of injury, for example, they might look for evidence indicating that you aren’t really injured at all.
Let’s say they have a victim who says they have such severe back pain that they can’t even get out of bed. If their private investigator records them loading groceries into their car, working out at the gym, and carrying their kids on their shoulders, they may argue that the claim is fraudulent.
They may also be looking for evidence that your injury isn’t as bad as you say. They may not think your injury is fraudulent, but they might think that you’re exaggerating it. In this case, they will also look for you to be engaging in activities that your injury would not allow you to do.
How They Investigate Victims
Insurance companies use a variety of techniques and methods to check on accident victims. How far they go depends largely on the value of the claim, how much they believe the victim’s report, and their company’s standard practices.
They might start with a cursory social media search. Looking at your Instagram profile, Facebook page, or other social media listings will show them if you have been posting about the accident or participating in activities you claim you can’t do.
If they want to go further in their investigation, they may hire a private investigator. The investigator might follow you when you drive to work, school, or outside activities. They might take pictures of you, especially if they see you doing activities that they believe you shouldn’t be able to do.
If the investigation turns up any evidence of wrongdoing, they might go all out and interview co-workers, acquaintances, and other people who know you to get evidence of a fraudulent or exaggerated claim. It is relatively uncommon for insurance investigations to get to this step.
Protecting Your Claim
To protect your personal injury claim, you want to follow your doctor’s orders and keep it to yourself to the extent possible. Do not post about it on social media. This can weaken your claim. Don’t talk about it to the media or in public, since any claims you make could be used against you by the insurance company.
You should also consider locking down your social media until the case is over. Even if you have nothing to hide, you would be surprised by how easily an insurance company could misconstrue a post. Posting a memory from your beach vacation two years ago could be viewed as a picture of your current activities, throwing doubt on your claim, for example. Additionally, don’t accept friend requests or follow requests from those you don’t know personally.
Reach Out to Mann & Potter for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
After an injury, it’s important to fight for your right to seek compensation and hold the liable party accountable. We can help. Explore your legal options now by calling Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 or getting in touch with us online.