Insurance companies do a great job at marketing themselves as your friends and neighbors. They advertise low rates, comprehensive coverage, and compassionate service. However, after filing a claim, you might encounter the exact opposite.
Insurance companies go to extreme lengths to deny valid claims. Some of these lengths involve surveillance tactics, which include hiring private investigators, perusing your social media accounts, and even interviewing people close to you.
Their goal? To prove you’re not as severely injured as you claim, freeing them of liability. Here, we’ll explain some commonly-used surveillance tactics and how our firm can protect you.
What Types of Surveillance Tactics do Insurance Companies Use?
Insurance companies resort to wild extremes to find “the goods” on injured claimants. They may:
- Secure and edit traffic camera footage
- Redub closed caption videos
- Harvest information from your social media accounts
- Conduct a background check, looking for previous offenses
- Interview people close to you about your injuries
- Hire private investigators
What Does the Insurance Company want to Prove?
To avoid paying your claim, the insurance company wants to prove:
- You’re not as severely injured as you claim.
- You were actually responsible for what happened.
- You’re knowingly defrauding the insurance company.
- The insurance company isn’t liable.
To understand more, let’s consider an example. Say you were badly injured in a car accident and require surgery. You are healing at home, but you need to go to the store to pick up prescriptions.
You post to your social media page: “Feeling okay today. Think I’ll make a run to town.” Yes, it’s a silly example, but posts like this are gold to a claims adjuster. They can use this status to argue that you’re fine, and you’ve exaggerated your condition.
Likewise, investigators will often follow injured people to the store, to the gym – even to church, just waiting for the opportunity to snap a picture or take a video. Taken out of context, isolated videos and photos can be damning to a case.
How to Avoid Insurance Surveillance
Evidence taken without a warrant or your consent may be inadmissible. However, if you consent to a recorded statement or post something online, it’s “free game.” To avoid insurance surveillance, we recommend the following:
Refrain From Posting Online During Your Claim’s Progression
Cyberspace doesn’t need to know about your physical injuries, condition, or accident. During your case’s progression, avoid:
- Posting photos or statuses
- Messaging the involved parties
- Posting to public forums
- Accepting requests from “friends of friends”
- Following the at-fault party’s social media accounts
Ask friends and family to limit what they share online about your condition, as well.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
To achieve maximum medical improvement (MMI), you should:
- Take all prescribed medications
- Attend follow-up appointments
- Go to physical therapy
- Stick to any dietary restrictions
- Refrain from alcohol and tobacco use
Adhering to these steps does more than promote your recovery; it protects your personal injury case. The insurance company will look for any reason to discredit your condition. It may be argued that because you didn’t follow through with treatment, you worsened your injuries.
If you want to discontinue treatment or follow a different regimen, talk to your doctor and ask them to give a written statement as to why.
Report Suspicious Activity
The State of New York reports that if you’re being followed, call 911. The state prohibits stalking for any reason – including for insurance purposes. After law enforcement arrives, report:
- The description of any vehicles, including their makes, models, colors, and identifying information
- Suspicious online interactions
- When and where the incident occurred
- Whether you confronted the perpetrator
Consult with Our Long Island Law Firm
Our legal team knows firsthand how insurance companies contest valid claims. We don’t have sympathy for multi-million-dollar insurance companies trying to cut corners. Our allegiance lies with claimants injured due to negligence.
We’ll do more than protect you against sinister insurance companies. You can expect us to:
- Gather evidence to support your case
- Calculate your injury-related damages
- Handle all communications
- File your claim’s paperwork
- Review the liable policy
- Negotiate a settlement
If the insurance company won’t cooperate, we’ll file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Your statutory deadline depends on your injuries’ cause. For instance, if you suffered harm in a car accident, you generally have three years to file your lawsuit, per CVP § 214. We can file your lawsuit within the mandated period and argue your case at trial.
Consult with Our Long Island Injury Firm Today
You don’t have to manage an injury case alone – and you shouldn’t have to deal with uncooperative insurance companies, either. That’s where our team comes in.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP has recovered million-dollar insurance settlements for injured claimants. You don’t have to worry about insurance surveillance tactics with us on your side. We will protect you against any allegations that discredit your claim.
To begin your free case review, call (516) 358-6900. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer your questions.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900