We know first hand that having a personal injury claim is stressful. Not only do you have injuries that are affecting your life and your ability to enjoy it, it feels like the claim itself is another thing hanging over your head preventing you from moving on. When we handle your case, our goal is to make it as stress free as possible and to get it behind you as quickly as we can, but there are many obstacles that may prevent quick resolution of your personal injury claim that are beyond you or your lawyer’s control.
Adding to that stress is the real potential that the insurance company is hiring someone to follow you and your family around and to also surveil what you are posting on the internet. While this seems very invasive (it is!), our clients need to know that this is happening in almost every single case, and it is very important that they are aware of it.
Can an Insurance Company Hire an Investigator to Follow me Around?
The short answer is, yes. An insurance company can (and does) hire someone to physically follow you around. We have seen surveillance tapes produced in our cases where an investigator followed our clients to a wedding or to a Mardi Gras parade, where they parked outside our client’s home and video taped her for an hour cutting her grass, where they followed our client for four hours where he was at work as a delivery driver, and even to our client’s children’s school and to her church. In almost every instance, these professional investigators will not be seen by you at all – they may hide in bushes, in unmarked cars, or in a crowd.
The best way to handle this possibility is to simply be honest. If you are only doing things your doctor tells you that you are able to do with your injuries, any surveillance footage will be meaningless to your case.
If you notice someone following you and who appears to be threatening or stalking you or your family, it is ok to call the police.
Can an Insurance Company Use my Social Media Against Me?
Not only is the answer yes, they can, but it is yes, they will. If you are involved in a personal injury claim, the insurance company and its lawyers are looking at your social media – a LOT. It is often times cheaper and better than hiring someone to follow you around. Changing your name to an alternative name or pseudonym will not work. There are a lot of ways to find you even if you use a fake name. Your best bet is to set your social media accounts to private or delete them altogether.
While you do not have to stop living your life because you have a personal injury claim, you need to be aware that anything you or anyone you are connected with put on the internet is totally fair game and will certainly be used against you.