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Can the insurance company have a private investigator spy on me?

Can the insurance company have a private investigator spy on me?

Can Insurance Companies Have a PI Spy On Me?

In personal injury cases, a common concern for many clients is the possibility of being monitored or investigated by insurance companies. In New Hampshire, as in many states, insurance companies do have the legal right to conduct investigations, which can include the use of private investigators. This blog post will explore the legalities of this practice under New Hampshire law, typical instances when it might happen, and the crucial role a good attorney can play in protecting your rights and interests.

Legal Grounds for Surveillance in New Hampshire

Insurance companies are permitted to conduct investigations to verify the validity of personal injury claims. These investigations can include surveillance activities. The rationale behind this is to prevent fraud and ensure that the claims being paid out are legitimate. However, these investigative activities are subject to legal and ethical boundaries. For instance, investigators cannot trespass on private property, use eavesdropping devices illegally, or engage in harassment.

Typical Instances of Insurance Company Surveillance

  1. High-Value Claims: In cases where the injury claim is of a high value, insurance companies are more likely to use private investigators. This is because the potential payout is substantial, and the insurer wants to ensure that the claim is not fraudulent.
  2. Discrepancies in the Claim: If there are inconsistencies in your claim or between your claim and your medical records, an insurance company might use surveillance to verify the accuracy of the information provided.
  3. Long-Term Disability Claims: In cases involving long-term disability, insurers might periodically conduct surveillance to confirm that the disability is ongoing.
  4. Worker’s Compensation Claims: Because of the ongoing nature of the claim, surveillance tends to be more common for worker’s compensation cases.
  5. Social Media Monitoring: Apart from physical surveillance, insurance companies may also monitor the claimant’s social media profiles for any evidence that could contradict the injury claim.

In our experience, the insurance company does not devote the resources to surveillance in most everyday cases. However, we certainly see them do it on occasion, and have even seen it in smaller cases. Of course, there may be instances when they conduct surveillance and are so good at it that the plaintiff never finds out. To be safe, we advise clients to always assume the possibility that they could be monitored when in a public place, or even on areas of their property visible from the public.

How Surveillance Can Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

The findings from surveillance can significantly impact your personal injury claim. For example, if a private investigator captures footage that suggests your injuries are not as severe as claimed, the insurance company may use this as grounds to reduce or deny your compensation.

The Role of a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

Having an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial in navigating these complexities. An attorney can:

  1. Advise on Best Practices: They can guide you on how to conduct yourself to avoid inadvertently damaging your case. This includes advice on social media use and public activities.
  2. Assess the Legality of the Surveillance: Your attorney can determine if the surveillance conducted by the insurance company crossed any legal lines and, if so, take appropriate legal action.
  3. Negotiate with the Insurance Company: An experienced lawyer can effectively negotiate with the insurance company, ensuring that the findings of any surveillance are put into the correct context and that your rights are protected.
  4. Prepare for Litigation: If necessary, your attorney can prepare your case for trial, ensuring that all evidence, including any obtained through surveillance, is accurately represented and fairly considered.

While it can be unsettling to think that an insurance company might hire a private investigator to monitor your activities after a personal injury claim, it’s essential to understand your rights and the legal boundaries within which insurers must operate. At Cohen and Winters, we specialize in personal injury law and are deeply familiar with the tactics insurance companies use. We are committed to protecting your interests and ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you’re dealing with a personal injury claim and are concerned about potential surveillance by an insurance company, contact us for a free consultation. We will help you understand your rights, advise you on the best course of action, and represent your interests vigorously throughout the process. With Cohen and Winters on your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that experienced professionals are advocating for you.

 

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