Will the Insurance Company Conduct Surveillance on Me if I File a Florida Personal Injury Claim?
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. The way they do this is by collecting premium payments. Insurance companies then take this money and invest it to make even more money. There’s no question that this is a great business model. A problem arises, however, when claims are made. Despite how insurance companies wish to portray themselves in television commercials, they do not like claims. The only thing they dislike more is when they have to pay one. This is because the success of an insurance company is measured by the amount paid out in claims. When an insurance company takes in more in premium payments than it pays out in claims, that is when it is successful. That is why when an insurance company learns that you’ve been injured in a Florida personal injury accident, it will immediately go to work to try and find evidence to defend your claim.
There are many different ways an insurance company can defend your claim and ultimately refuse to pay you for your injuries. The insurance company will always look to see if there is something else they can blame your injury on. For example, if you hurt your back in a car accident, the insurance company will comb through your past medical records to see if you have ever complained of back pain before. If you did, the insurance company will likely claim that your current injury is really a pre-existing condition and not an injury that was caused by the car accident. The insurance company may also simply dispute the findings of your doctors by paying their own doctor to say that you didn’t suffer an injury. However, when these tactics fail, or when it looks like you won’t go away, insurance companies love to turn to the use of surveillance.
What Kind of Surveillance Should I be Worried About After a Florida Personal Injury Accident?
There are different ways that an insurance company can spy on a claimant. In today’s digital age, the most common method is through social media. For some reason, people seem to think that they have to post everything about their life on social media. While this is generally harmless, when you have a claim for personal injuries, this can come back to bite you. You see, when you make a claim for personal injuries, your life and activities before the accident, and after, will be heavily scrutinized by the insurance company. So, pictures you have posted from your various trips and events now become relevant in determining how to value your injury. This is why insurance companies love social media.
Although you can take certain measures to try and secure your information, there is really no way that you can guarantee that the insurance company will not get a hold of it. Courts are even beginning to routinely allow insurance companies access to some of the information you may have in your social media accounts. That is why it is best that you simply refrain from the use of social media (or drastically reduce your use of social media) during the course of your claim.
Another common method of surveillance that insurance companies love to use is the service of a private investigator. Insurance companies routinely hire private investigators to follow injured victims for the purpose of videotaping and photographing their daily activities. Although you may think that you would notice someone following you, you would be surprised. These investigators are very skilled at what they do, and they are often able to get very close to a person without any suspicion. What the insurance companies hope to see in this type of surveillance is a claimant who is doing things inconsistent with the injuries complained of. Although most times this surveillance fails to yield “smoking gun” type evidence, insurance companies will still try to use the video and photographs against you.
How Is Surveillance Used by an Insurance Company?
Insurance companies use the surveillance they have obtained in several different ways. One way they will use it is as evidence if the case goes to trial. The insurance company will use the surveillance evidence to try and convince the jury that you are not injured, or that you are not injured as badly as you claim. Believe it or not, even the most innocuous video footage will be used to prove that you are not injured. For example, video of you simply walking around doing nothing will be used in an attempt to prove that you are not in pain, despite what you have claimed. They may point to the smile on your face or the lack of wincing as proof of a lack of pain. Although such video often backfires when shown to a jury, there are times, when there is sufficient enough footage, that such evidence can be made to look compelling.
Insurance companies will also use surveillance they have obtained as a settlement strategy, to attempt to bully you into settling your case for less than you deserve. In many cases, the insurance company will turn over their surveillance with a time sensitive settlement offer and a threat that if the offer is not accepted, they will proceed to trial. Again, most surveillance fails to show the victim in any compromising activities. Unfortunately, however, there are many attorneys who are still afraid enough of surveillance evidence that they will convince their clients to settle.
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