Is your auto accident case under surveillance by others? Video and photo surveillance of an injured person is frequently employed by insurance companies. They do this to rebut claims of injuries in auto accidents and personal injury cases. Florida courts have held that because of the public interest in exposing fraudulent claims. Thus, expect an insurance company to make a reasonable investigation after you file a personal injury claim. Insurance companies find that surveillance is effective at trial because it is easily understood by a jury. Also, surveillance is persuasive, accepted under the rules of evidence, and often entertaining. It is most effective when used to impeach a person’s credibility to the extent of his or her injuries.
What the Law Allows Them to Surveil
An insurance company or defense investigator can shoot video, take audio or take still photographs of an injured person anytime they are in a public setting. This includes common activities such as eating out at a restaurant, grocery shopping, walking a dog around a neighborhood, or driving to work. This also means that whoever is investigating can videotape an injured party while they are at work while in a public setting.
Limits To Keeping You Under Surveillance
There are limits though. You keep your basic privacy rights. An invasion of an injured party’s right to privacy may occur if the investigator is snooping around the person’s home, knocking on the person’s door under false pretenses, following the person closely in public places, or otherwise conducting surveillance in an unreasonable and obtrusive manner.
What To Do if You Suspect You’re Under Surveillance
If you believe a private investigator caught you on video either at home or at work, do nothing different from what you would do. Don’t exaggerate your injuries for the sake of the camera. Record as much information as you can gather about the surveillance, such as the license plate number of a suspect vehicle or general physical description of a suspected investigator, and report this information to your attorney. Do not approach a suspected investigator or attempt to engage in any communication.
Attorney Mike Hancock Answers Your Auto Accident Questions
The following is one of many personal injury questions asked on avvo.com which our car accident attorney, Mike Hancock has answered.
My fiancé was in a horrible car wreck. He sustained serious injuries broken bones, surgeries, and was in a coma for 3 days. He is unable to go back to work and will need lifetime medical care. A private investigator caught casing around our house and even had a person posing as an insurance agent. They showed up unannounced and took off fast once I requested ID.
Insurance companies routinely hire private investigators to perform surveillance on personal injury claimants. It is legal for them to do so. You have nothing to worry about as long as you are truthful in the statements you make to your doctors and to insurance company representatives about what you can and cannot do as a result of your injuries. I will tell you that the insurance company either believes your fiancé’s claim has a large value, and they are trying to find something to cut down on their exposure, or they have reason to believe your fiancé is currently exaggerating his claim. Either way, I highly recommend that your fiancé seek legal representation as soon as possible. Once a lawyer files a lawsuit against the party causing your fiancé’s injuries, the attorney will be able to get the surveillance tapes and take depositions of the investigators.
We Know How to Win Your Auto Accident Case
Contact us online or call us at (813) 915-1110 for your free, no-obligation telephone consultation with attorney Mike Hancock. We answer our phones 24/7, seven days a week. If we don’t recover money for you, you don’t pay us.
Updated January 10, 2022