A car accident can leave you with injuries that require medical attention, maybe even some damage to your car. Since you are the victim, you can file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and await for reimbursements and a nice settlement.
Initially, you may seem surprised how smooth the process is going. The insurance company is sympathetic to your situation, unlike all those stories you’ve heard about them trying their best to push back to avoid paying a dime. However, you notice you’re being followed.
Post-Accident Surveillance Is Very Common
Being followed by a private investigator after a car accident after you file a car accident claim is more common than you think. Though there are no statistics available, it’s a well-known practice many insurance companies have to check out claimants and see if they are telling the truth about the repercussions of the car accident.
Say you claim the car accident affected your livelihood, and you have to take time off work to recover from your injuries. The insurance company may send a PI to follow you, and see if you’re behaving within what they expect a person in your situation would:
- Are you staying at home? You should, since you can’t work, you likely can’t move around as much.
- Are you going to the doctor as needed? Not doing so may be a sign you’re not following the recommended treatment.
- Are you taking part in activities that don’t fit with your claimed condition? If you say you should be on bed rest, then why are you going to that birthday party?
Now, a normal person may feel like being followed by an investigator is an invasion of privacy. However, legally, that’s not always true.
Surveillance Is Legal in Some Case
A PI can track your movement in any place that’s deemed public, such as the park, the street, supermarkets, or even the parking lot of your doctor’s office. They can photograph you while you’re outside in front of your house, they just can’t take photos through the window of you on your couch.
And most of what they gather through their surveillance can be used by the insurance company to either dismiss your claim or give you a lower settlement.
What Are Your Options?
Speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer right away after a car accident. A lawyer can make sure your rights to privacy are still protected, and intervene if the insurance company tries to use illegal footage of you as an argument to dismiss your claim. The lawyer can also help negotiate a better settlement with the insurance company to cover your damages.