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How Insurers Use Private Investigators to Discredit Injury Claims

Have you been involved in a car accident and feel like someone may be watching you? Well, believe it or not, you could be right.

How is that possible? Well, insurance companies are profit-making organizations. And, like any other business, they want to cut cash outflow as much as possible. To do this, they may hire a private investigator to watch you and gather evidence in an attempt to devalue or deny your injury claim.

Let’s discuss everything you need to know about the use of private investigators by insurers and how you can protect your claim.

private investigator taking a picture

What Do Private Investigators Look For?

While your insurer may suspect you are overvaluing your injury claim, they cannot wake up one day and decide they won’t pay you. They must have solid evidence to stop or decrease your compensation. As such, they may decide to hire an investigator to follow you and gather evidence to minimize or deny your claim.

Private investigators won’t just follow you. They may take pictures or videos, check your social media accounts, and look into your financial or criminal records. Their objective is to find even the tiniest excuse to reduce or cut off your claim.

Although it seems unethical, it is generally legal for insurance companies to hire investigators to follow personal injury claimants. Under the Surveillance Act, investigators are allowed to take your photo in public places, monitor your movements, watch your social media activities, and go through your financial or criminal records.

However, the law prohibits private investigators from entering or breaking into your home illegally, recording your phone conversations, and taking pictures or recording videos through your home’s windows. It’s also illegal for them to impersonate police officers or intimidate claimants. If you suspect your insurer may have hired a private investigator to spy on you, be sure to alert your injury lawyer ASAP.

How Can You Protect Your Injury Claim?

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop your insurer from hiring a private investigator to monitor you. However, there are things you can do to stay out of trouble with your insurer. Here is what you should do:

  • Avoid discussing your injury claim on social media. This will make it easier for your insurer to find something to devalue or deny your claim.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. If your doctor says you should not lift heavy objects, doing so might damage your credibility or even cause more injuries.
  • Never allow investigators into your home. If you tell them to go away, but they insist they want to come in, that could amount to trespassing. You should call your lawyer right away.
  • Never do side jobs for additional income. This could be interpreted as fraud if you are considered unfit to work. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Speak With an Experienced St. Louis Injury Lawyer

Do you believe your insurer is spying on you? At The Hoffman Law Firm, we have experienced St. Louis car accident attorneys who know all the tricks your insurer may pull to deny or delay your injury claim. We can help ensure your rights are protected. Contact us 24/7 to discuss your injury case.

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Updated: June 18, 2021