Do you get the feeling that you’re being watched? Perhaps it is time to give that Rockwell song a rest from your iTunes playlist or perhaps you could be right if you are claiming an injury from an accident. As the number of accident claims continue to rise, insurance companies are fighting back by auditing cases to ensure that the claims alleged are legitimate. Below is a summary of several tricks of the trade:
- Internet research- this is the easiest and most cost-effective way for insurance companies to begin their research. Expect to have your name Googled and the contents of your Facebook page perused. There are also public records like property records, court documents (e.g., divorce or bankruptcy records), business records, and criminal background checks. Insurance companies that hire private investigators will have access to non-public information as well. They may even find out about gym and country club memberships. If you are alleging an injury that would prevent you from working out, insurance companies will definitely want to know about these aspects of an injured person’s life.
- Interviews- when a claim is filed with an insurance company the claims adjuster is the first to handle the case. Typically, they want to speak to the injured party to gather information about the case. It is generally not advised for injured parties to speak to such adjusters until they get the approval from their attorney. They can gather even more information from you if they meet you in person. For instance, if you are claiming a lot of pain, yet are able to sit in the meeting without complaint, it will be noted in your file.
- Daily surveillance- with more serious injuries a private investigator may monitor your daily activity. They must stay within the bounds of the law but they are able to monitor any activity that is in public view. Another way to monitor is for an insurance company to demand an Independent Medical Examination, where a claimant will document all of their activities, and a private investigator will ensure there is no contradiction with what is reported.
In some cases, private investigators will go to great lengths to ensure that they are not detected by an injured party. It can be intimidating and unnerving to suspect that someone is following you around. It is important to consult with an attorney to know when such tactics go beyond the boundaries of the law.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you suspect insurance surveillance call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.1800askalawyer.com.