When do Insurance Companies Hire Private Investigators?
Personal injury video evidence is common. If you have an ongoing personal injury claim, insurance companies or Workcover claims insurers may hire private investigators to gather surveillance evidence on you at any time of your claim. In practice, insurance claim investigators are often hired when your action or behavior pattern is inconsistent to what is stated in the medical reports, or when your claim is rather substantial.
What do Insurance Investigators Look For?
Insurance investigators often take personal injury video evidence or photographic evidence. They typically look for evidence that will discredit you or your claim.
Personal Injury Video Surveillance is Legal
Surveillance Evidence – Things to Know
Knowledge is a claimant’s best defence. Assume that a private investigator will be hired by workers compensation insurers or your employer. This is being done all over the country as well as here in Perth. To avoid damaging personal injury video surveillance evidence, here are the things you should work on.
- Know what a private investigator can legally do and what they can’t.
- Know what the common workers comp surveillance tactics are.
- Know how to avoid accidentally giving damaging surveillance evidence.
- Hire the best personal injury lawyers or workers compensation lawyers in Perth.
Surveillance Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim – Your Rights
Private investigators don’t have carte blanche when it comes to gathering evidence. Knowing your rightsallows you and your lawyer to combat any unethical surveillance evidence. Investigators’ limits are dictated by the Surveillance Devices Act 2007. However this still allows them a lot of opportunities to take video surveillance.
Workcover claims and other personal injury claims can’t be investigated by:
- Taking video surveillance of you doing private activities inside your home
- Planting bugs to record conversations
- Entering your home, car, or other private properties without consent
- Conducting surveillance inside your home, car, or any other private properties without consent
- Harassing you. If they do you have the right to file an Misconduct Restraining Order against them.
- Recording you on your private properties as long as the picture is taken from a public place
- Recording conversations in public places
- Taking video surveillance of you at any public place
- Taking video surveillance at any time of day
- Following you for extended periods of time
8 Tips to Avoid Damaging Surveillance Evidence
Workcover insurance claims as well as other personal injury claims have benchmark patterns they usually follow. Knowing these workcover surveillance tricks makes it possible for you to understand and avoid damaging surveillance evidence.
If the dates and times of your appointments are known, it is easy for a PI to track you there. Often PI’s will use these appointments to confirm your identity and other facts to make tracking you easier. This gives PI’s pertinent facts about you that will make further surveillance easier as well.
Though Workcover claims can have surveillance at any time, there are times it is more likely. Generally if an injured person has been unfit for work for more than one year it is more likely they will be the subject of surveillance. If you are applying for a personal injury certificate, you should be especially careful. None of this means that video surveillance can’t happen at other times. But there are times you should be particularly careful.
Surveillance often occurs over a period
Don’t assume that you will only be under video surveillance for a given time period. Usually surveillance lasts 2-3 days but it can last for months. It is common for insurers to pay for more than one session of surveillance. Assume you are being watched from the moment you file the claim until you go to court. This is probably not the case, but it is the safe way to proceed.
Private Investigators may follow you around the clock
There is no set hours for private investigators or days off. Don’t assume you are safe from video surveillance at night or on the weekends. It may be stressful to be on the lookout round-the-clock but it’s better than losing your personal injury claim.
Private investigators don’t just use you
Surveillance evidence for your personal injury claim may be gathered through those you know. This means people like your friends, co-workers, and neighbours. They will also use your social media posts and the social media posts of those you know against you. Not only do you need to be careful of what you say and post, but those you know do too. Tell your friends and family about your claim and give them an idea of what statements/posts are damaging.
Follow your doctors’ instructions
If your doctor tells you to do something, do it or at least seek a second opinion with haste. If your doctor tells you not to do something don’t do it, or seek a second opinion as soon as possible. You can’t be caught on video surveillance in a damaging way if you aren’t doing anything to damage your claim. So follow your doctor’s advice and restrictions to the letter.
Watch out for cash incomes
You may think nothing of doing a little side job. But any cash income you receive can be considered fraud if you are making representations that you are not fit to work. Make sure the only income you are receiving is from your weekly payments in a workers compensation claim. Even working odd jobs for a few dollars could be used against you.
Private investigators are experts in disguise
Just because you don’t see a private investigator, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Again, this is an issue of better safe than sorry. If you assume there is always someone watching, you can’t give damaging evidence. If you don’t talk to anyone about your claim, you can’t give damaging evidence. A PI does not need to announce that is what they are.
Personal Injury Lawyers
Hiring a Perth area lawyer in your personal injury claim is the best thing you can do to combat surveillance evidence. Worker’s compensation lawyers know the ins and outs of surveillance evidence in personal injury claims. Your lawyer can help you run through the ins and outs of the process. Perth lawyers have in depth knowledge of how video surveillance is typically used in this area.
They will go over the consequences of things like video surveillance. They can also discuss in detail what a private investigator is legally allowed to do. For the best outcome, you should contact the best personal injury lawyer available to you. With their help you can start strategizing to combat surveillance evidence in your personal injury claim.
Combatting & Preventing Surveillance Evidence
The first step in fighting this type of surveillance is knowing that it is likely to happen. This leaves the claimant able to avoid damaging information coming out. Then knowing the basics of what is legally allowed in video surveillance helps. After that it gets more complicated and hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best thing a claimant can do.
If you are concerned about your personal injury claim, contact Foyle Legal for your no obligation consultation. We will listen to your concerns, and provide you with a personalised action plan for your injury claim. For all qualified personal injury clients, we represent your injury claim on No Win, No Fee basis.