Social Media and Video Surveillance in a Personal Injury Claim

This is a bit of a dual topic post, but they share similarities. What I am referring to is the number of ways in which an insurance company can spy on a plaintiff during a personal injury claim. The two most common ways that adjusters and defense attorneys can try to obtain information about a claimant are: 1) social media and 2) video surveillance. It is important to remember that your activities and statements may not be private if you are in the middle of a personal injury claim against an insurance company, in particular, if your case has gone into litigation. Regardless of whether your injury was caused in a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of accident or injury, it is ALWAYS in your best interest to keep details of the case or lawsuit private.

Social Media

Almost everyone is on Facebook and Twitter, including this office. (Please click the links to follow our pages). If you are in the middle of a personal injury claim, however, you may want to keep quiet about the details of your claim and your injury status especially if your Twitter and Facebook accounts are open to the public. If the insurance company believes that: a) your injury is not as severe as you claim, or b) that you healed from the injury much sooner than the medical records indicate, then the insurance company may look for evidence to support their opinion which includes looking at your Twitter or Facebook profiles. If you make statements or post updates that suggest you are feeling better or if you upload pictures of yourself performing manual labor or exercising, then rest assured the insurance company will use that evidence against you. If you were injured in an auto accident or other type of incident and want to update your friends and family regarding your condition, it is best to make your posts private or to keep your posts vague so that it can not be used as evidence against you. Also, do not accept friend requests from people that you do not know since this may be an insurance adjuster or an employee of the defendants law firm.

Video Surveillance

Many people are shocked to find out that they may have been the subject of a private investigation. It is true, however, that insurance companies will hire private investigators for 10-20 hours to videotape your behavior if they believe that you are “faking” or “exaggerating” your injuries. If these videos show that you are able to work in a physical profession or exercise, then that evidence will be used against you in your personal injury claim. Surprisingly, this is not illegal or a violation of your privacy. I do not want to scare anyone into thinking that they are being followed. In fact, this tactic is very rarely used and usually only in cases in which the insurance company truly does not believe your injury claim.

In the end, it is important to remember that you and your attorney should control your personal injury case. You do not want to hand over control to the insurance company by saying or doing things that can be used against you at a later time.