Do Insurance Companies Follow You After a Car Accident?

November 16, 2021
  1. 1. Common Surveillance Tactics Used by Insurance Companies
  2. 2. When Might I Be Under Surveillance?
  3. 3. Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Today for Help Answering Your Surveillance Questions

The short and unfortunate answer is yes.

After you file an injury claim, your insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to handle your case. When the company chooses to build a case against an injured person, one of the ways they do it is by hiring a third-party investigator to conduct surveillance, watching you for any inconsistencies so they can deny your insurance claim.

It is perfectly legal for these investigators to perform surveillance if it’s done in a public space. So, you need to be able to identify the when, why, and how of these surveillance tactics.

If you feel you are being watched by an investigator and have questions, you should reach out to your legal team so you can be sure you’re protected and prepared. Keep reading to learn more about these tactics, and how Andy Citrin’s legal team can help.

Common Surveillance Tactics Used by Insurance Companies

Private investigators have a wide variety of surveillance methods at their disposal, both in-person and digital. Anything public, whether that be you mowing your lawn or your latest social media post, is accessible for them to use as evidence against you. It is important to know how these investigators may be surveilling you so you can protect yourself against them.

Three common surveillance tactics include:

In-Person Stakeouts (Fixed Surveillance)

Investigators may follow you or conduct a stakeout (also called fixed surveillance) to get video and audio evidence of your day-to-day life. Their goal is to find any inconsistencies in your story. Your insurance company may also attempt to interview your friends, family members, or colleagues to try and get any information that may help them to deny your claim.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be followed for more than a few days. However, every person’s circumstance is different, so be sure to be on the lookout for any unfamiliar vehicles, strangers, or suspicious activity in your neighborhood after filing a claim.

Digital Surveillance

With today’s technology, investigators and insurance companies have indirect access to you through the internet and social media. They may look for posts, photos, or other information that may hurt your credibility. This can include using information that you post about your case, or other posts that are seemingly unrelated. For instance, any posts on popular social media sites made after the accident that suggest you’re healthy and well can be used against you, so it’s usually to your advantage to hold off sharing any photos at all.

Investigators may also try to friend you using fake accounts or use GPS tracking to monitor your location, so it’s important to be wary of any suspicious requests or behavior. Instead, make your profiles private and don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.

Recordings and Observations

The insurance company may request that you make a formal, recorded statement about what happened—before securing an attorney. They’ll then use this statement to work against you and your claim.

The insurance company may also require that you undergo an Independent Medical Exam (IME). These exams are rarely independent and are often used as an opportunity to surveil injured people. For instance, they will pay a lot of attention to how you walk into and out of your appointment at the doctor’s office, watching for signs that you’re exaggerating your injuries so they can accuse you of lying about your symptoms.

These are just a few common types of surveillance by the insurance company. If you’re worried about being watched, keep reading.

RELATED: 6 Tactics Used by Insurance Adjusters and How to Handle Them

When Might I Be Under Surveillance?

The most likely time that you may be under surveillance is during the day at a pre-planned event, like going to work. It’s easiest for investigators to follow you in the daytime, as it is easier for them to get good video and audio evidence. When they can be sure you’ll be at a certain place at a certain time, it is easier for them to fully prepare for any possible surveillance.

Private investigators can surveil you anywhere that is visible from public spaces. For instance, they can even record you in your front yard if it is visible from a public street. Any public space like the gym, work, or the grocery store is free for them to follow you, so be sure to be cautious and avoid any behavior that could hurt your case. This includes exaggerating or downplaying your symptoms or pain.

It is important to protect yourself by locking down your social media accounts, declining any requests for in-home meetings, avoiding any activities that may be outside of your physical capabilities, and hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. You should also pay attention to changes in your neighborhood, keeping an eye out for an unfamiliar car parked near your home.

Insurance Company Surveillance Footage: How Powerful Is It?

Video surveillance footage is a powerful tool that insurance companies will use to try and discredit you in court.

Insurance companies will use video surveillance footage to fight you by trying to expose any inconsistencies in your claim, persuade the jury, and find examples of any possible behavior that could deny your claim. However, this doesn’t mean that surveillance footage is a guaranteed effective method for denying your claim. Your team’s job is to be sure their evidence is credible and fight back against any insurance company claims that aren’t evidenced in your case.

Surveillance video can also be used to your advantage. An experienced team can help you understand when other types of surveillance footage can work for or against you. Andy Citrin’s team helped clients like Barbara and Paul get the compensation they deserved by using surveillance video to prove the seriousness of their injuries.

If you’re concerned that you’ve been followed or watched, you need to speak with an attorney who can help you protect your case, if you haven’t done so already. It is important to have a team of lawyers who understands the difference between credible evidence and irrelevant content and can help you stand up to these attacks in court.

RELATED: Five Ways A Car Accident Lawyer Can Support Injured People After a Crash

Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Today for Help Answering Your Surveillance Questions

Staying alert to any suspicious surveillance activity can be overwhelming, especially if you’re still dealing with the stress and pain of your injuries. In these difficult circumstances, the Andy Citrin team is ready to stand up for you, demand a fair settlement, as well as to help evaluate and answer any questions you may have regarding surveillance.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys with any questions, or to set up a free consultation. Call our law firm today at (251) 888-8888 or use the contact form on our website to get started. We look forward to hearing from you!

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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