In some cases, yes. An insurance company or other interested party may follow you and videotape you in the hopes of proving you are exaggerating or misrepresenting your injury. This is legal and the insurance investigator is loyal to the insurance company, not to you. This person’s job is to prove whether or not your claim is legitimate.
What should I do if I suspect I am being followed?
Most people become nervous when they suspect an insurance investigator is following them. However, the key is to be yourself. You know that your injury is legitimate, so make sure that you follow your doctor’s orders to the letter. If the doctor said no heavy lifting, leave the groceries and garbage bins for a family member.
If you have been told to stay off your feet, keep your outside excursions to a minimum. It might be your nature to want to help around the house or play with the kids despite the pain and discomfort it causes, but don’t do anything you wouldn’t want the insurance company to see.
Can an insurance investigator videotape me inside my home?
An investigator may videotape your home if he stays on public property and you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, if you’re standing in front of your living room window lifting weights with the blinds up, then it might not be reasonable to expect privacy.
In that case, anybody walking by the house could see you. But if an investigator finds a small crack in the blinds and starts videotaping you in the home, this could be a violation of your privacy. Also, an investigator may not install cameras in your home.
Will an investigator talk to my neighbors?
If an investigator is suspicious, he may try to speak with your neighbors. He may ask questions about taking out the trash or doing yard work. It might be a good move to talk to your neighbors and let them know what is going on with the lawsuit so they do not misspeak. For example, a neighbor may go on about a gorgeous fence you built not realizing it was erected prior to your injury.
What are some other methods of surveillance insurance companies use?
One relatively new form of insurance surveillance is simply checking your social media accounts. If you’re posting photos on Facebook of you skiing, describing a recent workout on Twitter, or posting pictures to Instagram that show you running in a recent 5K race, the insurance company might use these photos to discredit your claim and injuries.
Keep in mind that it may not be clear when pictures were taken and innocent comments may be misconstrued, so be very careful when using social media during your personal injury claim.
If you have been injured and would like to know what type of compensation to which you may be entitled, call Walker, Billingsley & Bair at (888) 435-9886 to discuss your case. The confidential consultation is free.