We won’t beat around the bush: if you’ve been involved in an accident and have filed an injury or disability claim, you might become subject to surveillance by an insurance company.
Insurance companies use a variety of investigation techniques to cast doubt on the legitimacy of your injury claim. An insurance company’s ultimate goal is to pay the victim of an accident the least amount of money possible. Although it seems dramatic, one of the most common investigative techniques the companies use is surveillance.
Insurance Companies are Watching You, says Massachusetts Injury Attorney
When we say insurance companies are watching you, we mean it. Insurance companies, typically after taking a deposition of the person who filed an injury claim, will hire investigators to covertly follow and document the claimant. During the deposition, the insurance company will ask the injured person many detailed questions, including activities that they can no longer do.
Once the deposition is over, an investigator familiar with disability or insurance video surveillance may be hired by the insurance company to observe the claimant’s daily activities. Why does the insurance company go through all this trouble? The insurance company is hoping that the investigator will capture you, the claimant, doing activities that are inconsistent with the testimony you gave them during your deposition.
Is Insurance Company and Investigator Surveillance Legal?
It is technically legal for insurance companies to hire investigators to conduct surveillance of a claimant. It certainly doesn’t seem that it would be appropriate, but investigators can conduct video surveillance just about anywhere out and about in the general public. This could mean in parks, when you’re jogging along the Esplanade, when you’re shopping on Newbury Street, eating out at your favorite North End restaurant, or even going to church or the gym.
The only real places that are certainly off limits are your home and your workplace.
Interestingly enough, if you’re injured at your workplace and file a workers’ compensation claim, however, it’s very likely that an investigator may be hired to confirm that your activities outside of work correspond with the injuries you claim to have sustained while at work.
Social Media Surveillance: How Your Social Media Activity Can Ruin Your Injury Case
While insurance companies will go to great lengths to discredit you, your testimony and your injuries - sometimes they don’t have to. Sometimes people feed insurance companies information that can ruin their case from the palm of their hands. We’re talking about what you share from your cell phone or laptop.
Insurance companies will watch what you post on social media, and what you’re tagged in on social media. They will check your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Linkedin and even Craigslist. If you were injured in an accident and have an injury claim, insurance companies could use anything you post in your social media networks against you. They will look at your photos, video, audio, instagram stories and any form of content that you post.
It’s important to note that insurance companies may even be unfair and obtain images and posts and recordings and then use them out of context when it comes to trying to refute or argue against your injury claim.
Don’t Undermine Your Own Massachusetts’ Injury Case
In addition to giving insurance company’s information that could harm your case via social media networks, you could also give away valuable information in your daily life.
Even though your injury claim is legitimate - the insurance company will still likely try to discredit and disprove it. If they can’t refute your claim altogether, they will certainly try to minimize it. No matter how obvious your injuries, you are never “safe” from assuming that you will be free from surveillance.
You need to be aware that anything that you do in public could be subject to surveillance. Keep in mind the activities you do in public and the impact they could have on your case if the insurance company were to capture footage of you doing it. If for example, you talk about an injury that makes it hard to walk or to do daily activities, but then an investigator captures video footage of you jogging through Boston’s Public Garden - it won’t look good for your case.
What Do I Do if Someone is Following Me?
The most important thing is your safety. If you believe you are being stalked, followed, or videotaped you should call the police to confront the strange vehicle or person.
Insurance companies may attempt to conduct surveillance multiple times if they don’t initially capture the evidence they wanted. Even if you have an active injury claim, however, never assume that suspicious behavior is “just” an investigator hired by an insurance company. Put your safety first - it’s possible it’s an investigator, but you can’t be sure so act accordingly. Always keep your safety in mind and be aware of your surroundings. If something is suspicious or makes you feel unsafe, call the police.
Injured in a Massachusetts’ Accident? Our Boston Based Injury Attorneys Offer Free Consultations
If you were involved in any type of accident in Massachusetts that led to an injury - such as a car accident, pedestrian accident or even a slip and fall, Spada Law Group is here to help. We handle ONLY injury claims and have been representing injured clients since 1998.
We make sure that all of your rights are protected and fought for - even if the insurance company spies on you with the help of an investigator.
Insurance companies have deep pockets and love to fight. We make sure it's a fair fight.If you were injured in an accident, give us a call or text us with any questions you may have. Our consultations are always free, and you will not pay us a dime unless we are successful in getting your case resolved.