Somebody's Watching Me

When a victim is injured in an accident caused by another party, there is usually some type of insurance company that is involved in the financial compensation award the victim may be entitled to. For example, if the victim was injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s automobile liability insurance company would be responsible for processing the claim and making payments to the victim for damages caused by the injuries. If the victim was injured in a premises liability accident, then the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance company would be responsible, and so on.

 

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It is also the goal of insurance companies to make a profit and so they will often do all they can to avoid paying the victim the full compensation they deserve or even pay the victim any damages at all. There are many tactics insurance companies use, including using private investigators to spy on the victims. The following are some of the more common spying techniques insurance companies and investigators use to try to deny a victim’s claim.

Surveillance

If a victim feels like they are being watched, chances are they’re right. Insurance companies will hire investigators – or use company investigators – to follow a victim as they go about their day. Investigators will usually sit in their vehicles near the victim’s residence and follow them as they go for medical appointments, to the grocery store, dropping their children off at school, or anywhere else they go.

Investigators usually video victims in an effort to catch them doing something that could be used as proof the victim is not really injured. Unfortunately, this is perfectly legal. Many victims will keep their blinds closed or curtains drawn in order to prevent investigators from seeing inside the home. Any video the investigator takes on behalf of the insurance company must be turned over to the victim’s attorney during the discovery phase of litigation.

Social Media

Social media has made it much easier for investigators to monitor victims. Injured victims who are pursuing a personal injury case need to be aware that anything they post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform can be used against them in their case. Even if you have your accounts set to private, the insurance company can gain access legally through a subpoena issued by the judge overseeing your case. Victims should keep the following in mind:

  • Consider deactivating all accounts while the case is pending. If you decide to stay active, make sure all of your accounts are set to private and do not accept any friend requests from people you don’t know.
  • Don’t post photos that will make people think you are more active than you actually are.
  • Let friends and family know you do not want them to post any photos of you, especially any that could potentially be used against you in your case.
  • Don’t joke about your injuries or the limitations they are placing on your life. For example, if you are unable to work during recovery, don’t joke about being on “vacation” or that you are enjoying your time off.

Let Our Personal Injury Law Firm Help

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what type of legal recourse you may have. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.

The personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have successfully advocated for many clients who suffered brain injuries in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved for their injuries, including a record-setting mild brain injury verdict for $60 million, which was settled while on appeal. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia