If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you may expect to be treated fairly by their insurance company when you file your claim. Unfortunately, they are more likely to do everything they can to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve in your settlement.
One common tactic they may employ is to spy on your while your claim is being resolved. Here are the steps you need to take to protect yourself so that you receive all the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
Understand the Common Ways the Insurance Company Could Be Spying on You
The first thing you need to do to protect yourself is to understand why the insurance company would want to spy on you and the common surveillance tactics they may use. They are looking for damaging evidence, such as catching you doing activities that you should not be able to do given your injuries, that they can utilize to deny your claim or to force you to accept less money in your settlement.
When will they engage in these tactics? You should be prepared for them to spy on you at any time before your claim is settled. However, you should be especially cautious before an examination by their doctor, your deposition, and your jury trial because these are the most common times that the insurance company would engage in surveillance.
The insurance company could hire a private investigator to spy on you. Here are some of the common tactics they could employ:
- Stakeouts. In a stakeout, a private investigator would monitor your activities in one location either by hiding out in a vehicle or through the use of a video camera. They may switch vehicles and investigators watching you so that you do not realize they are spying on you.
- Tracking. The private investigator could also follow you around to track where you are going and the activities you are engaging in. As in a stakeout, they may switch cars and investigators so it is not obvious what they are doing. Another way they could track you is through a GPS device.
- Electronic monitoring. Another common surveillance tactic is to search your social media posts for damaging posts, photos, and other information that they can use against you. The insurance adjuster and the attorney for the insurance company could also search your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
- Interviews. The private investigator could try to interview your family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers in addition to these other surveillance tactics.
Take These Steps to Protect Yourself From Insurance Surveillance
Once you understand the ways the insurance company may spy on you, you can take actions to protect yourself and to prevent their tactics from weakening your claim. Here are five tips on what you should do.
#1: Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
You should follow your physician’s instructions on the activities you can engage in. If your doctor tells you not to lift things over a certain weight or advises you not to do certain activities, don’t go against their recommendations. This will prevent a private investigator from taking a damaging photo or video of you doing something you should not be able to do given your injuries.
In addition, follow your doctor’s advice on what medical treatment you need and go to all of your appointments. This will help you heal faster and help you prove how serious your injuries really are.
#2: Limit Your Social Media Posts
Ideally, you should stay off social media sites while your claim is being resolved. If this is not possible, you should limit what you post on social media sites so that you do not give the insurance company ammunition to deny your claim. Do not discuss your car accident or your injuries or post pictures that could be misconstrued on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other sites.
You should also only accept friend requests from family and friends. The insurance adjuster or detective could try to friend you so they can monitor your accounts more closely.
#3: Ask Friends and Family Not to Post About You
You should ask your family and friends not to talk about you, post pictures of you, or tag you in their social media posts. The private investigator or insurance adjuster may also search their social media sites for damaging information about you.
#4: Know Your Rights
A private investigator can spy on you in public locations or if you are outside your home. However, you do not have to allow them into your home or onto your property. If you ask them to leave and they refuse, they are a trespasser. If you feel unsafe, call 911.
#5: Hire a Lawyer
One of the best ways you can protect yourself from the insurance company spying on you is to retain an experienced car accident attorney. They can give you additional tips on how to protect yourself and will fight with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement. In addition, it is less likely that the insurance company will excessively spy on you or try to take advantage of you if you are represented by a lawyer.
Were you injured in a car accident that was not your fault in Southern California? Contact my San Diego office to schedule your free case evaluation today to learn how I can assist you.