Your Privacy With Motor Vehicle Claims in Alberta
posted in: Personal Injury
Why Are Private Investigators Hired for Motor Vehicle Accident Claims?
In some cases, insurance companies for the at-fault driver hire private investigators to prove the injured party making a claim is not injured at all, exaggerating their injuries or not as seriously injured as they claim. Many claims are won or lost on the credibility of the plaintiff or defendant. Surveillance in personal injury can devastate a case if an injured party is shown lying about their injuries.
Reasons Why Private Investigators Are Hired in Insurance Claims
There are several reasons why a private investigator may be hired to defend an insurance claim. In every serious injury case, the insurance company representing the defendant will likely obtain surveillance of the injured person making the claim. The law does not require a defendant to provide pre-discovery particulars of that surveillance. Investigators can:
- Analyze the cause of the accident to determine who is at fault
- Inspect the accident site, including interviewing witnesses, photographing the scene and documenting vehicle impact
- Monitor the claimant’s social media profiles and their activity online
- Film or photograph the claimant as they go about their daily lives. Video surveillance may be involved as long as it does not violate your personal privacy such as at locations that are publicly accessible. Recordings are allowed as long as one party is aware of the recording. No court order is required for video surveillance.
What Happens When You Are Followed by a Private Investigator?
Throughout the investigation process, your basic privacy rights are retained. An invasion of an injured party’s right to privacy may occur if the investigator is snooping around the person’s home, knocking on the person’s door under false pretences, following the person closely in public places, or otherwise conducting surveillance in an unreasonable and obtrusive manner. Investigators cannot trespass on your private property.
As part of the litigation process, both parties must attend examinations for discovery. The defendant represented by the insurance company and their lawyer is then required to reveal any surveillance that has been conducted.
Credibility is extremely important in an accident claim. If an investigator finds a claimant participating in activities that are contrary to their claimed injuries, it can ruin the claimant’s integrity and destroy their case.
Consulting with an Injury Lawyer
Consult with one of our injury lawyers if you believe you are being followed by a private investigator after a motor vehicle accident or if you feel that your personal privacy is violated. Your initial consultation is free and all information is always confidential. Contact us for a free consultation about protecting your rights in an injury claim.