There are probably a few things you’re expecting after an accident. You’re waiting for your insurance company to call you back, you might be expecting the other party’s insurance provider to touch base, and you’re anxiously awaiting the medical bills. But you probably didn’t expect the insurance company to send a private investigator to track you.
Is this legal? And if so, why are they doing it? Learn more about what the insurance company is looking for and what it means for you. When you’re ready for more personalized advice regarding your personal injury, we’re here to help. Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612 to schedule a consultation now.
You Have Rights…
You have the right to privacy in certain places. You shouldn’t have to worry about an insurance company spying on you in your home, tracking you at work, or interfering in your appointments with your attorney. However, many people are surprised by the fact that their right to privacy doesn’t extend very far. That’s why it’s so easy for insurance companies to follow you after you’ve reported an injury.
…But So Do Private Investigators and Insurance Companies
Everyone, barring a restraining order or something similar, has the right to exist in a public space of their choosing. Yes, even if it’s for the purpose of following someone or watching their movements. When you go shopping, take a walk, or move between places, you simply do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Insurance companies can take advantage of this and look for evidence against you when you’re in a public space.
How does this work when you’re being followed? There’s a fine line, and if you worry that the insurance company is following you illegally, it’s important to bring it up to your attorney. Although private investigators are expected to stick to legal methods to get information on you, there are those who will push the limits.
If you’re in your home, you can expect privacy. But if you’re walking out to your car, you can’t expect privacy—anyone could see you. If you’re at a doctor’s appointment, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. If you’re at the grocery store, you shouldn’t expect privacy.
Protecting Your Case Against an Investigation
This can be discouraging for accident victims. It feels like you’ve been victimized once by someone else’s negligence, and now their insurance company is taking aim at you too. Just because the insurance company is following you doesn’t mean that you have to give them anything they can use against you.
To start, always be honest about your injury with your attorney and let them handle all communication with the other party’s insurance provider. If you don’t talk to them directly, you avoid accidentally saying something that weakens your claim. As long as you’re honest about your injuries and how they limit you, the private investigator won’t have much to dig up on you.
Additionally, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions at all times. If they tell you to avoid lifting anything over five pounds, don’t pick up the kitty litter at the store because it’s “just one time.” Not only can you seriously hurt yourself, but you could also harm your personal injury claim if someone sees you.
You may also want to limit your presence on social media. It’s easy to misrepresent your injury on social media and unintentionally weaken your personal injury case. Think about it the same way you think about talking to the police when you’ve been arrested—even if you don’t think you’re saying anything that can hurt you, you know that nothing you say can help you.
Even if your social media doesn’t have anything about the accident, why give the insurance company extra ammunition? Lay low, make your profiles private, and avoid talking about the accident at all.
Choose Burns, Cunningham & Mackey for Your Accident Claim
Finally, make sure you talk to your personal injury lawyer about your concerns. At Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, we know that personal injury claims can be overwhelming and stressful. We’ll fight aggressively on your behalf for fair and full compensation, giving you more time to focus on your recovery. Give us a call at 251-432-0612 or contact us online, and we’ll set up a time to talk.