Why Car Insurance Companies May Hire Private Investigators for Accident Claims

private investigator sitting in car taking picturesYou may have some idea about how committed car insurance companies are to saving themselves money, particularly if you have had to file a claim. A car insurance company may have attempted to deny your claim or made a lowball settlement offer.

Would you be surprised to learn car insurance companies sometimes hire private investigators? Insurance companies may take extra steps to try to find something they can use against you.

Below, our experienced attorneys discuss this issue in greater detail, including limits on the ability of private investigators to spy on you.

If you have questions about your legal options or are struggling to obtain compensation from the insurance company, we are here to help. Our firm has obtained millions on behalf of car crash victims.

Are Car Insurance Companies Allowed to Spy on You?

There is certainly an argument to be made that hiring a private investigator is unethical and a bit shady, but it is not illegal. Private investigators are within their rights to photograph you while you are out in public, review your social media posts, follow you to your work or your home, and review public records.

Private investigators could learn a lot about you and some of this information may help the insurance company in its attempts to deny or undervalue your claim. Insurance companies typically only do this when the case is complicated or has the potential to be worth a lot of money.

It is important to note there are limits on what private investigators can legally do when they are hired. For example, wiretapping your cellphone is against the law. This is something law enforcement can do only after getting a warrant.

It is also illegal for private investigators to photograph you through a home window, trespass onto your property or other private property, impersonate a police officer, or misrepresent themselves as someone else (insurance adjuster or other insurance company representative, etc.).

Private investigators are prohibited from intimidating or threatening people, whether these threats are verbal or physical.

Do I Have Anything to Be Concerned About?

If you have hired a lawyer and are following your doctor’s orders about your medical treatment, you should probably not be concerned about a private investigator. If you spot a private investigator, inform your attorney and he or she may give you some additional tips on protecting the value of your claim.

Remember, the truth is always key. If you tell your doctor, you cannot bend over (at all) and then you are on video bending over bowling or playing with your kid, that is insurance fraud. If you tell your doctor that you can bend over, but it causes pain, and video catches you bowling or playing with your kid, then you will need to explain what pain you were in or what you had to do later that night to battle the pain, such as take medication or ice.

Make sure to be careful with your social media posts. Taking a break from social media during your claim is often a good idea, as you could unintentionally say or post something damaging to your case. You want to avoid posts that make it seem like your life is back to normal and you have no physical limitations from the crash. Posts about exercising or going out with your friends or taking a vacation can be damaging to an accident claim.

The truth is not always easy to see from a photo.  No one wants to post a photo of backpain. The photos are always people smiling and having the time of their lives. Think about the perception the photos on social media will generate.

You may be thinking that it should not matter what you post because you have privacy settings on your social media. However, private investigators may pose as someone else to try to get you to accept a friend request. Remember, the information you post online is never entirely private. There are even cases when Judges have allowed access to private social media data.

The strength of a claim is not only based on the evidence gathered, but also your credibility. Your actions during the claims process go a long way in either bolstering your credibility or diminishing it.

What if an Investigator Crosses the Line?

If you ever feel you or a loved one is in danger, call the police. Short of that, make sure to inform your lawyer about conduct that may be illegal.

At TSR Injury Law, we are not only here to pursue maximum compensation, but we are also here to help you through this process. We know this is a very difficult time for you and your family.

Call TSR Today for Legal Help After a Car Crash

Unsure how a lawyer may be able to help after a car crash?

Feel free to give us a call today to set up a free consultation to learn how an experienced Bloomington car crash attorney may be able to assist you. Crash victims who hire attorneys often obtain more compensation compared to those who try to go it alone. The legal process is complex, and our experienced attorney knows how to navigate every step because we have done it countless times.

For more than 20 years, our firm has been helping injury victims and we have obtained millions in compensation on their behalf. The initial consultation is free, and we work on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless you do.

TSR Injury Law. No upfront fees. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Who May Be at Fault for a Blind-Spot Crash with a Commercial Truck?

commercial truck pictured in sideview mirrorDrivers should always check their blind spots before changing lanes, particularly when they are driving large vehicles like commercial trucks. The larger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot and the more damage that can occur if the large vehicle crashes into a significantly smaller one.

However, given the fact that drivers should know commercial trucks have large blind spots, can they be held partially at fault for blind-spot crashes with commercial trucks? Or do truck drivers bear most of the responsibility for preventing a blind-spot crash?

Victims of truck accidents can greatly benefit from experienced legal representation. At TSR Injury Law, we have been helping motor vehicle crash victims for decades. Our firm has secured more than $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients. There are no upfront fees for our services, which means there is no risk in working with us.

Fault for Commercial Truck Blind-Spot Crashes

While each accident is unique, commercial truck drivers are often the ones held liable for these crashes. You have a right to be in a lane and other drivers can only come over into your lane if they can do so safely without causing an accident.

Truck drivers are responsible for checking their blind spots just as drivers of other vehicles are responsible for checking their blind spots. Truck drivers need to use their mirrors and other technology in their vehicles to determine if a vehicle is in a blind spot. Truck drivers also need to be aware of the amount of traffic around them and take their time to make sure it is safe to change lanes before doing so.

Truck drivers are also likely to be held liable for a blind-spot crash if it happened while they were:

  • Tired or fatigued
  • Distracted
  • Impaired by drugs and/or alcohol

In some situations, it is possible the driver failed to properly adjust his or her mirrors to reduce blind spots as much as possible. Maybe the truck did not have the appropriate mirrors to allow drivers to see around the truck as much as possible.

If you were to speed into a blind spot as a truck is already changing lanes, and the truck driver used his or her turn signal, you may be partially at fault for damages you may suffer if a crash happens. The same could be said if you drifted into a blind spot because you were distracted, and the truck driver was being cautious about changing lanes.

In some cases, another party may be at fault. For example, maybe the truck had video or sensor technology that was supposed to alert him or her to vehicles in blind spots and the equipment failed. In that case, the manufacturer of the equipment or the party responsible for maintaining that equipment may bear some amount of liability for the crash.

Where Are the Blind Spots Around Commercial Trucks?

Commercial trucks are not only longer than other vehicles, but drivers are also higher up than drivers of traditional passenger vehicles. This creates huge blind spots that drivers cannot see, even with their mirrors adjusted appropriately.

One of those blind spots is 20 feet in front of the truck. Drivers cannot see anyone or anything in that 20-foot zone. If the truck is right behind you or behind you in the lane to your right or left, the driver cannot see you.

There is also a blind spot 30 feet behind the trailer. In other words, if you are within 30 feet of the rear of the trailer, the driver is unable to see you.

There is another blind spot between the driver’s door and the back of the truck and another from the right side of the cab to the two lanes to the right of the truck.

One useful way to think about commercial truck blind spots is that the driver cannot see you unless you can see the driver in his or her side mirror.

Dangers of Blind-Spot Crashes

Any crash with a commercial truck can be very dangerous. However, blind-spot crashes have the potential to be deadly. If a truck sideswipes you, your car could get run off the road or into other vehicles. This could also happen if you get rear-ended by a commercial truck. The truck could also run your car over if it is behind you and your vehicle is in the blind spot in the front of the truck.

Need Help Following a Truck Crash? Call TSR Right Away

Whether you have questions about the validity of your case, a settlement offer you received, the potential value of your case or anything else following a truck crash, TSR Injury Law’s experienced Bloomington truck accident lawyers may be able to help.

We have extensive knowledge of the many factors involved in these cases and can provide answers to your questions to help you make an informed decision about what to do next. Schedule an initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys to learn more about how we may be able to help.

No upfront fees. Millions recovered. Call us at (612) TSR-TIME.

No Fees or Costs Unless We Win

Are There Any Upfront Fees?

At TSR Injury Law, we charge no upfront fees to help determine if you have a case, no upfront fees while we build your case and no upfront fees while we work on your case. At the end of the legal process – when your case reaches a settlement or a jury verdict – we charge a percentage of your total, awarded compensation. The percentage varies, depending on your type of case and this can be discussed during a consultation with a lawyer at our firm.

Why Do We Handle Cases This Way?

By not charging our fees in advance, it provides a risk-free way for injury victims to consider their legal options without financial pressure. It also helps victims to level the legal playing field – claims are often against large insurance agencies and companies that have full teams of lawyers and support staff.

Our award-winning legal team have successfully handled many cases against such competition and understand how they build the cases that they handle. We use that knowledge to help build a strong argument for your maximum compensation recovery.

What Happens During an Initial Consultation?

The initial consultation is a completely free, no-obligation opportunity for potential clients. In this meeting, we determine whether you may have a valid case and answer any questions that you may have about your case and how we can help you. We also explain more about our fees, including what they are and when we collect payment for our services.

If you have a case and choose to hire our law firm, your attorney will provide a contract that will include the fees as discussed. Both you and your attorney must sign the contract before work can begin.

What Happens at the Conclusion of My Case?

At the end of the legal process, when your case either reaches a settlement or the jury awards you compensation after a trial, your attorney will provide you with a closing statement. You can review the total amount of compensation awarded as well as our costs and fees. We can also help if you have outstanding medical liens that you need help resolving and bill those costs through your compensation. However, no money is disbursed until you have reviewed and signed the closing statement.

Once all the outstanding costs and attorney fees are paid out, the client receives the remainder of the compensation. If we do not recover compensation for you, we do not get paid.

Do Some Attorneys Use Other Types of Fee Arrangements?

Some attorneys use an upfront type of fee arrangement that can be costly and difficult for most people to afford. Lawyers may require thousands of dollars to retain their services before any work begins. After that, clients pay a hefty set fee per hour, often hundreds of dollars or more. These costs are expected up front. They are not advanced costs that you can hold off paying until your case concludes.

The Attorneys at TSR Injury Law are Ready to Help

When it is time to call for legal help, reach out to our licensed attorneys at TSR Injury Law. We have been representing injured victims in Minnesota for more than 20 years. Our proven track record includes millions in compensation obtained on behalf of our clients.

You can reach our firm 24/7 by calling our toll-free number. We also have a convenient contact form online that you can complete and submit to get a return call from our firm.

Call TSR Injury Law for Legal Help at no-risk to you: (612) TSR-TIME

Discussing Your Car Crash Injuries with a Doctor

doctor examining patient's kneeOne of the most important things to do after being injured in a car crash is to seek medical care. You do not want your injuries to get worse because of a delay in treatment. The sooner you start getting treated, the sooner you can complete your recovery.

It is important to be thorough when talking to doctors about your injuries, not only to optimize the care you receive, but also for the strength of your case. Omitting information could give the insurance company room to dispute your credibility and lower the value of your claim.

Below, our experienced Minneapolis auto accident attorneys talk about what crash victims should discuss with their doctors. If you have more questions about what to do after being injured in a crash, TSR Injury Law is here to help. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation.

Discussing the Crash with Doctors

Make sure to tell the doctor how you were injured. The doctor will probably have many questions about how the crash occurred. Having answers to these questions helps your doctor with properly diagnosing and treating your injuries. Do not exaggerate about the crash. Saying you “were hit at 60 mph” does not help when you truly don’t know and only gives the insurance company room to doubt you. Keep the explanation simple on how the crash happened. It is not actually relevant to the medical treatment. “I was rear-ended” or “I was going straight on a green and another car ran a red light” is sufficient.

Tell the doctor what you remember about the crash, particularly where your vehicle got hit and if any parts of your body hit things inside the vehicle, like the steering wheel, dashboard, window, gear shift, or anything else. Medical treatment may be affected by crash facts by explaining “my left shoulder hit the side door when I was t-boned” as an example.

You want to give the doctor as much information as possible so he or she can determine where and how you may have been injured.

Explaining Your Injuries

Tell the doctor where it hurts and how severe the pain is, even if you think the pain is minor. Describe the pain as well. For example, is it an ache, burning or stabbing pain?

Inform the doctor of other symptoms you are experiencing, such as limited mobility, nausea, dizziness, confusion, headaches, numbness, irritability, behavioral changes, etc. Radiating pain or numbness into your arms/hands or your buttocks and legs are extremely important to mention. These symptoms could indicate an injury you are unaware of, such as an internal injury, nerve damage or brain injury.

Make sure to inform the doctor about any injuries you had before the crash. If you never treated for an injury, it is not as important as injuries or pains you have treated for before the crash. Your doctor can determine if you aggravated an existing injury and help to differentiate between your new injuries and the old injury.

If you are concerned that revealing a preexisting injury may hurt your claim, you need to know that you can still seek compensation. The insurance company may try to use your existing injury to devalue your claim, but an experienced attorney should know how to counter any arguments. That is one of the reasons hiring a licensed attorney is so important after being injured in a crash.

Your pre-existing medical issues may have made you more likely to suffer an injury in the crash, but that cannot be used to devalue your claim or bar you from seeking compensation.

Continuing Your Treatment

The discussion about your injuries should continue after your first meeting with a doctor. When you return for a follow-up or visit other doctors, keep them updated on how you are feeling and describe any changes in your symptoms. This information will be noted in your medical records – consistent updates on your condition shows you are receiving treatment and trying to get better. These records also reiterate your injuries, which helps to validate your claim. Complaining that your neck hurts to your spouse is not the same thing as reporting it to your doctor. Doctors create medical records and bills and that is what insurance companies need to review.

It is important to follow the doctor’s orders about managing your injuries. For example, if the doctor tells you to avoid certain physical activities, make sure to avoid them. If you disobey the doctor, you could hurt yourself more and prolong your treatment and recovery. It could also work against your claim. The insurance company could say you are ignoring your doctor’s orders because your injuries are not as bad as you said.

You may need to reschedule some appointments for a variety of reasons. That is OK, if you have a good reason, and you attend the rescheduled appointment. Keep your lawyer informed as well. The insurance company may try to use rescheduled appointments against you, claiming you are not really hurt.

What if I Have Questions or Concerns About Treatment?

There are times patients are concerned about taking medications or undergoing a particular treatment. It is important to discuss these concerns with your doctor. He or she should be able to answer your questions about medication side effects, the pros and cons of surgery or another medical intervention.

Maybe you have used a medication before and suffered unpleasant side effects. If that is the case, inform your doctor and he or she may be able to prescribe something different.

If you are unsure about something a doctor is recommending, you may want to get a second opinion. Sometimes another doctor confirms what the first doctor said, and this can be reassuring to some people. If the other doctor has a different opinion, you at least have options to consider.

We Are Here to Help. Call to Learn More

Unsure how an attorney can assist you after a crash?

Learn how by calling TSR today to schedule your free legal consultation. Crash victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than crash victims who go it alone.

This is because attorneys are committed to recovering as much compensation as possible for the victim, unlike the insurance company that wants to pay out as little as possible.

TSR Injury Law has a proven track record – over $1 billion recovered for our clients.

We are ready to help. Call us at (612) TSR-TIME.

What Are the Differences Between Settlements and Verdicts in Personal Injury Cases?

gavel on desk with verdict signInjury victims may be reluctant to file claims because they think they will have to go to court to recover compensation. However, most claims are resolved out of court without a lawsuit ever being filed.

Unfortunately, many people do not know the differences between cases that are resolved out of court and those that are resolved via a jury verdict. There are significant differences between these two results, and our experienced attorneys discuss them below.

If you were injured through no fault of your own, and you have questions about seeking compensation for your damages, call us today at (612) TSR-TIME.

What is a Settlement?

In a personal injury case, a settlement is an agreement between both parties to resolve the claim made by the victim. The at-fault party, often the insurance company representing the at-fault party, agrees to pay the victim for the damages he or she claimed. In exchange, the victim agrees not to file any claims against the at-fault party in the future.

Settlements are typically agreed to before the case reaches court. However, sometimes a lawsuit is filed and both sides are in the process of preparing for trial when a settlement is agreed to.

Settlements are reached after negotiations between both parties, often the insurance company and the attorney for the victim. Both sides could go back and forth many times before they reach an agreement. Sometimes settlements are reached quickly, other times it may take months of negotiating.

It is also important to note your Minneapolis-based personal injury attorney typically will not start negotiating until you have fully recovered or reached the point of maximum medical improvement.

However, settlements are reached much faster than jury verdicts. You also do not need to go to court or testify, which can be a significant source of stress for injury victims.

Another advantage of settling is you are not leaving the case up to a jury, which may decide not to award any compensation. On the other hand, a jury may award much more than you might get in a settlement.

It is important to note that you should never settle for less than the value of your claim. You should discuss settlement offers with your lawyer to determine if they are fair. Once you settle, you are likely unable to continue pursuing compensation for the same injury.

How Going to Court Differs from Settling

There are numerous steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit. After your lawyer files a lawsuit, you will need to wait for a trial date to be set and have a judge assigned to the case.

The next step is often discovery, where both sides gather information from each other to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the victim’s case. There may be depositions where witnesses and others are interviewed under oath about various aspects of the case. The judge in the case may also require both sides to go through some form of alternative dispute resolution to see if the case can be resolved before a trial begins.

There are many steps that happen before a trial even begins. It can take a significant amount of time to make it to trial.

Filing a lawsuit is often the push needed to make insurance companies make a better offer. Sometimes all it takes is having a lawyer with a history of going to court and recovering compensation to get the insurance company to make a better offer. That is why your choice of an attorney is so important.

Contact TSR Injury Law for Legal Help Today

There are no upfront fees or obligations for our services. Our licensed attorneys are not paid for representing you unless we receive compensation.

What this means for you is there is no risk in contacting us to discuss what happened and learn how we may be able to assist you. An initial consultation is free of charge.

For more than two decades, we have been securing favorable compensation for personal injury victims.

Call us today to learn more: (612) TSR-TIME.