Will I Be Followed By A Private Investigator If I File An Insurance Claim?

Insurance companies sometimes hire investigators to spy on car accident victims who have filed car accident claims.  Typically, insurance companies only do this if the potential value of a car wreck claim is big enough, since the cost of hiring investigators can be pricey.  Most insurance companies have their own, “in-house” investigators whose job it is to gather information on accident victims, hoping to show that the claimant is engaging in physical activity contrary to their injury claim or doctor’s recommendations. 

Why Insurance Companies Hire Private Investigators:

Insurance companies hire private investigators to get information on a claimant in order to discredit them or devalue their claim.  If a car wreck claim involves a serious injury, investigators look online for social media posts showing our client participating in physical activities.  If a client is claiming that a car accident caused emotional distress, the investigator will look for Facebook posts where our client appears to be having fun or socializing. 

Of course, a snapshot of a Tweet or a photo from Facebook, in themselves, can be taken out of context very easily.  And, that’s exactly what the insurance company relies on. 

Example of Insurance Companies Spying On Accident Victims:

The extent of an insurance company’s investigation or surveillance of an accident victim can range from simple online searches, including google and social media searches, to in-person spying. 

Most of the time, the insurance company will not reveal whether they have done any surveillance on our client until they have to exchange “impeachment” evidence before trial (that is, evidence that someone is lying).  In our practice, in almost 20 years, we have received only a handful of surveillance videos from insurance companies, allegedly showing our clients doing something they shouldn’t have been doing. 

For instance, one video was taken in the parking lot of a grocery store and showed our client lifting a case of water into his truck.  The insurance company argued that he was not following his doctor’s orders, which restricted lifting to 40 pounds.  We were able to prove that the pack of water weighed only 35 pounds and pointed out that at the time the video was taken, our client was frantically preparing for a hurricane which hit later that night.

What To Do If You Think The Insurance Company Is Tracking You:

First of all, we tell all our clients to expect the insurance company to search their social media posts.  Social media posts can be taken out of context very easily.  A simple statement like “I’m doing fine” can be misconstrued to diminish the fact that the person is going through severe pain from a car accident. 

If you think you are being followed by a private investigator, be extra aware of your actions, including any physical restrictions from your doctor.  Keep notes on when you were followed and a description of the person following you, including their vehicle information.  If it is safe and you are able to do so, take photos and video of them!  Give all of this information to your attorney so that they can follow up with the insurance company and request surveillance information.

If you don’t feel safe, or if the person following you invades your personal space or crosses the line by trespassing on your property, call the police and report them.

Are You Wondering Whether The Insurance Company Is Investigating Your Car Wreck Claim?

 If you have been injured in a car wreck, and wondering whether the insurance comapny is investigating your car wreck claim, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.

Grady Flattmann
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Local Covington, Louisiana attorney focusing 100% on personal injury matters.