Insurance Companies Will Spy on You
I recently spoke to a colleague about an all-too-common and very invasive insurance practice of spying on anyone who makes a claim for injuries. In my friend’s situation, his client was seriously injured by a company truck with a commercial insurance policy with high liability limits. Since his client had well-documented objective neck and back injuries with surgical recommendations, his client was exactly the sort of candidate the insurance company loves to hire investigators to follow.
The insurance company chose to hire a man to spy and videotape an injured woman over a few days. The insurance company was hoping to catch on evidence of physical activity like carrying groceries, doing laundry, or other activity of daily living. If the evidence of fraud can be proven, it can be used to show that the alleged injured individual is lying. You can bet that a video showing the injured person struggling with activities or the limited mobility would not be captured or produced by the insurance company.
You would think that insurance companies would not harass and heap additional harm on those legitimately injured, but you would be wrong. Here, precisely because the injury was significant and because the liability policy was a large one, the insurance company knew that their exposure was very large and that any hint the injured party could undertake any physical activity would save the insurance company thousands of dollars. That is a powerful incentive to knowingly invade the privacy of a severely injured person, such as by looking in their windows and trespassing on their property.
What to Do?
In my friend’s situation, the client confronted the spy. I do not recommend this since it is potentially dangerous. If you realize this is happening, call your skilled lawyer at McCraw Law Firm immediately. If you do not have a lawyer, videotape the spy if you can do so safely to get all information necessary to subpoena them, including make, model, and license plate of their car.
If the spy is trespassing, at least take a picture of the spy trespassing and call the police. You do not know who the person is or really what all reasons the person is spying on you. Having the law confront the spy removes the risk of additional injury by this person.
After such an event, the defense lawyer and the insurance company suspected of this type of activity should immediately be sent a letter seeking preservation of all video, billing statements for the spy, any notes the spy took, and all other documentation of what the spy did, including when they did it and what they were paid to do it.
If the case is in litigation, appropriate discovery requests should be demanded. I have seen spying backfire spectacularly on the insurance companies who engage in it. This is especially true when the spy inadvertently documents the physical limitations of the injured individual. In addition, when such spying occurs, it could causes additional mental anguish to the person spied upon. Stripping away one’s safety in her own home to save a buck can have consequences with the jury.