Why Car Insurance Companies May Hire Private Investigators for Accident Claims
You 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.