If another person or party injured you in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. However, a part of the process of recovering compensation requires dealing with their insurers.
It is standard practice for insurance companies to investigate injury claims and find evidence to reduce the compensation payout as much as possible. Read on to discover some of the most common tactics they employ and why you should be aware of them.
Insurance companies watch those who file claims against them to combat insurance fraud. As a business, insurance companies want to protect the money they make. Insurance companies will try to deny a claim to avoid paying damages or at minimum, lower the payout as much as possible, especially if they think the claim is fake or exaggerated.
However, it is crucial to remember that insurance companies approach all claimants with skepticism, including legitimate individuals who simply want the compensation they deserve for their injuries, pain, and suffering.
Knowing you may be being watched by an insurance company is uncomfortable, but remember that you are within your rights to file a claim. As long as you follow the advice of your attorney, you should receive the compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies have a number of surveillance tactics at their disposal. Typically, they will deploy digital, passive, or active surveillance depending on the value of the claim and the status of the client they represent.
Insurance companies typically begin watching the digital presence of those submitting a claim. The most common places investigators look is social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They will also search personal blogs, websites, and any other digital property associated with the claimant’s name.
Passive surveillance methods are about real-world surveillance and are often done by a private investigator (PI or private eye). Insurance firms employ these methods against claimants with a moderately high claim value. The PI they hire is typically tasked with following you and taking pictures of you as you travel in public places. As long as they are not trespassing when they do so, this is unfortunately legal and something you need to be aware may happen if you file an injury claim.
For example, in an injury claim case, a PI may try to take pictures of you carrying your groceries out of a supermarket and into your car to prove that your injuries are less severe than claimed.
If the claimant is involved in a high-value case, insurance companies may request private investigators to employ more aggressive surveillance methods, such as investigating friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances.
For example, a PI may contact your colleagues to ask questions about your health and current condition and record the statements obtained.
If you suspect a private investigator or another party affiliated with an insurance company is watching you, here are a few things to avoid until your case has been resolved.
- Continuing Your Online Activities
Digital surveillance is relatively easy and inexpensive, thanks to social media and the amount most people share online. Insurance companies usually try to obtain information from your social media profiles before attempting more sophisticated methods.
One of the first things you should do after seeking medical attention is to limit your publicly viewable social media activity as much as possible. Use privacy controls to limit who can view your posts and profiles, and avoid posting anything that insurers could use against you.
Even seemingly innocuous posts such as commenting, “I had a nice day at the beach” or posting pictures of yourself looking happy can be used against you by insurers. Also, contact your friends and family and advise them not to discuss the case or your daily activities, as insurers may also be watching their posts and online activity.
- Ignoring Your Doctor’s Recommendations
It’s important to listen to your doctor’s recommendations both for the benefit of your injuries but also to avoid your claim being unnecessarily denied. For example, if you try to rehab your injuries at the gym against doctors’ advice, the insurance company may claim you are healthy enough to go to the gym and therefore you don’t need compensation, even if you are still in immense pain.
- Trying to Prove Your Claim Alone
Whether you were injured in a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or another accident, obtaining the compensation you deserve is a long and complex process. Insurers will try to undermine your case by getting information from surveillance or attempting to get you to sign an agreement waiving your rights.
Hiring a skilled attorney can help you receive the maximum compensation. Your lawyer can advise you on what to do and will fight for your rights while you’re recovering.
If you were injured in an accident in New York State, Catalano Law is ready to represent you and help you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track. We have 50 years of combined experience in personal injury law and don’t charge any fees until we win or obtain a settlement on your behalf.
Contact us today for a free case review.