How Insurance Companies Obtain Evidence for Use in Personal Injury Claims

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis, IN

There are several ways a resourceful insurance company can obtain evidence about you and your injuries when you make a claim for damages. If you have been hurt in an accident and have sustained substantial or catastrophic injuries for which you are making a legal claim, don’t be surprised if you discover that you are being surveilled by a private investigator employed by the insurance company. Investigators are retained to capture evidence of overstated injuries or fraudulent claims made by personal injury victims. The evidence collected by the PI may be used to reduce the value of your claim and limit the insurance company’s liability exposure. An investigator may legally photograph, film or obtain audio of you in a public place setting as you work, play, exercise, drive a car, bicycle or a motorcycle. Evidence proving that your physical capacity is greater than what was declared in your testimony may compromise settlement negotiations between your personal injury attorney and the insurance company or it may be used to undermine your testimony before a jury as to the extent of your injuries.

Most jurisdictions grant a limited amount of immunity to private investigators short of trampling on your right to privacy. An insurance investigator should not poke around your property, peer through your windows or come to your door under false pretenses. Under no circumstances should you confront or engage an investigator in conversation. If you believe you are under surveillance, note the date, the description of the vehicle and if possible, the license plate number. Give this information to your lawyer. Your personal injury attorney will request copies of all evidence obtained by the investigator including witness statements they may have obtained.

Your privacy rights hinge upon the “reasonable expectation of privacy.” The courts have decided that once you discuss or post private matters online, you have given up your right to privacy because your ‘friends’ may repeat what you thought was a confidential matter to another person. Your social media accounts are discoverable evidence which may be used to discredit you in your claim for injuries. This is true for civil law as well as criminal matters. Do not discuss your accident or injuries in any social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Linked-In, Twitter and any other online forums. If you have concerns about postings you may have made, under no circumstances should you delete the posts as the court sees this as tampering or spoliation of evidence. Discuss any concerns you may have about social media postings early on with your personal injury attorney.

During the discovery process of your claim for damages, insurance companies make requests from your personal injury attorney for any and all information they are legally entitled to. This may include but is not limited to hospital records, doctor’s notes, physical therapy records, rehab records, medical bills, medical records of prior injuries, missed appointments, work records, wage statements, tax records, and photographs of the accident scene and injury photos. If you have any concerns about information that may have a negative impact on your claim, discuss this with your personal injury attorney Indianapolis, IN trusts at Ward & Ward Law Firm as early as possible in the claims process so he or she may get ahead of it.