Can an Insurance Company Spy on Me After a Car Accident?
The answer to the question “Can an insurance company spy on me after a car accident?” is quite complicated. Over the years, our firm has seen many insurance companies spy on our clients after auto accidents or work injuries.
Unfortunately, in most cases, insurance companies can hire a private investigator to follow or “spy” on an injury claimant after a car accident. They do this in order to try and obtain evidence that will diminish the claim for compensation.
There are limitations, however, on an insurance company’s ability to “spy” on a personal injury claimant. We’ll discuss those limitation a little later in the article.
Insurance Companies Spying on Clients: a Real-Life Example
In one particular situation, a workers’ compensation client called our office complaining that he was being followed by a private investigator. After speaking with our client, we determined that the insurance company hired the private investigator to watch our client. In addition to watching the client at home, the private investigator followed our client to one of our offices.
In our opinion, watching a client while he or she is meeting with an attorney crosses the line. When clients visit their attorney’s office, they expect privacy and confidentiality as they are discussing personal matters. At this point our client and his attorney had had enough. Attorney Gene Riddle personally went outside and told the private investigator to leave the client alone. Fortunately, the client never had an issue with this private investigator again.
Insurance Company Spying After an Accident: Is That Allowed?
In the past, our clients have asked us, “Is the insurance company allowed to follow and watch me?” This is a valid concern that many personal injury claimants have. Not only have they sustained serious injuries, but now they have to worry about the insurance company watching and analyzing their every move.
For many car accident injury claimants, it seems extremely unjust for the insurance company to watch them after they were injured by the insured. However, the insurance company’s main priority is to pay as little money as possible for your injuries. As a result, insurance companies are notorious for spying on clients in order to try to obtain evidence that diminishes the personal injury claim.
Can the Insurance Company Legally Spy on a Claimant?
The short answer is yes, an insurance company can hire a private investigator to follow you as long as you are in public. However, legal issues can arise if the private investigator follows or spies on you in a place where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The line between what constitutes a public and private space can get murky. For instance, it is likely a violation of privacy to spy on someone when they are in their home. However, a private investigator can watch you while you are taking out the garbage. Essentially, this means that as long as you are in a public space, such as a sidewalk, a private investigator can observe you. In places where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, though, like your home or attorney’s office, it could be illegal for a private investigator to watch you.
If you believe that the insurance company hired a private investigator to follow you around after a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Riddle & Brantley — for a FREE consultation, call 1-800-525-7111.
While it might be legal for the insurance companies to spy on you in public, there are certain places where privacy is expected. Our firm has dealt extensively with insurance companies spying on clients and we will happily help you navigate through this stressful process.
For a FREE and no-obligation consultation, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and easy form below.
“Will the insurance company ‘spy’ on me?”
Clients also ask us how likely is it that the insurance company will spy on them after they file their claim.
This is often determined on a case-by-case basis.
For the most part, insurance companies will not spy on claimants with serious injuries and when liability is clear. However, with the rise of social media, insurance companies have increasingly started spying on personal injury claimants online.
Insurance defense firms have been known to search through claimants’ Facebook, Instagram and other social media platform posts. The insurance company goes to these sites in order to gather evidence that the claimant is not as injured as he or she claims to be. For these reasons, it is extremely important that you not post anything related to your injuries and that you also limit who can access your social media profiles.
Protecting Your Online Privacy and Legal Rights
Recently, Riddle and Brantley has seen insurance companies and defense attorneys use social media posts to try to devalue personal injury claims. If you have recently filed a personal injury claim, review the tips below to help prevent insurance companies from using your social media post against you.
- Be extremely careful when posting anything on social media after an accident. We recommend that clients refrain from posting any pictures or videos on social media while your claim is active. We don’t want to give the insurance company any ammunition to use against you.
- If you continue to use social media, make sure to use the strictest privacy settings available. By limiting who can access your social media profiles, you can reduce the insurance company or private investigator’s access to your information and content.
- Add friends and followers carefully. Don’t accept just any friend or follower request. Make sure you actually know the person trying to follow you. Insurance companies may try to gain access to your accounts by trying to follow you.
- Be mindful about sharable content. Limit who can tag you in a post. Finding posts of you that others have shared is another way the insurance companies can gather evidence against you.
- Follow your attorney’s advice. Even though social media is one of the primary ways we all connect with others, it is important to limit your activity on these sites during a personal injury claim. Posts before or after your accident can drastically impact your claim. By following your attorney’s advice, you can limit how much the insurance companies can use against you.
For more information on social media posts and how they might affect your claim, check out our blog on Social Media FAQS.
Is the Insurance Company ‘Spying’ on You After Your Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and believe the insurance company is following you or trying to obtain information that may jeopardize your claim, please call 1-800-525-7111 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Riddle & Brantley.
Our North Carolina car accident attorneys have more than 225 years of combined legal experience and we know how to handle the insurance companies. We’ve assisted many clients who have been followed by insurance companies, and we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ legal rights.
For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111.
“Riddle & Brantley got me all the available money from the insurance companies.”
–David Howard, Riddle & Brantley client
There is no obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive financial compensation.
Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim. You may be entitled to compensation and you deserve justice.