Being followed after an accident that you didn’t cause might feel insulting. You’re the victim, so why are you being treated like a criminal suspect? Unfortunately, this is a fairly common experience for those involved in car accidents, especially if their claim is a high-value one. Insurance companies want to ensure that their money is not going toward a fraudulent claim, and so some investigative work may occur. It’s important to know your rights and know what to do after an accident.
Have you been wrongfully injured in an accident? We’re here to help. Our team of Chatom personal injury attorneys is ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call the Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley Chatom office at 251-847-2237 or our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483.
What the Insurance Company is Looking For
To understand why you may be followed after an accident, you need to know what insurance companies are looking for in their investigation. Basically, they are looking for any evidence or proof that you are lying about or overstating your injuries. If you say that your injury has left you unable to work, they’re hoping to catch you clocking in for a shift or doing DoorDash or Uber on the side.
If you claim to be unable to work because the accident caused severe back pain, they’re looking for you to be loading fifty pounds of groceries into the back of your car. Remember, insurance companies make money by not paying claims. If they can find any reason to avoid paying you or at least pay you less, they are padding their bottom line.
What They Can Do
There are limitations to what insurance companies can do, though. Before any in-person following starts, you’ll likely be the subject of a social media search. The insurance company wants to know what you’ve been posting about the accident online, how you’ve been spending your time since the accident, and whether the picture you paint of your life on social media matches up to your reported limitations.
You will probably want to lock down your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media accounts you have. Even then, avoid posting about the accident online. Anything they find is something they will try to use against you.
From there, they are allowed to follow you in public. If you leave your home and go to a doctor’s appointment, work, a friend’s house, shopping, or out to eat, they are well within their rights to see where you’re going or how you’re getting there.
They can get a surprising amount of information this way. For example, if you’re claiming severe emotional distress but taking your family to the theme park or going on a girls’ weekend with your friends, this type of evidence can seriously discredit your testimony.
Violations of Privacy
What insurance companies cannot do is violate your privacy. When you are in your home, you have a right to privacy. They cannot enter your home, look for evidence against you, or gain access to private areas without permission. This right of privacy extends to your electronic devices and accounts.
They cannot hack your social media accounts to see hidden posts or conversations, nor can they illegally access your devices to look for documentation and paperwork. There is a fine line between investigating a claim and stalking someone, and insurance companies may toe the line to get the information they are looking for.
How to Handle the Insurance Company After an Accident
How do you avoid harming your claim after an accident? The first step is to hire an attorney. They can take over communication with the insurance company, ensuring you don’t accidentally give them information they can use against you. You should also prioritize a prompt medical checkup to get medical proof of your injuries and their impact on your life. Stay off of social media, and until your settlement or court case is complete, do not discuss the accident with anyone.
Reach Out to Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley Now
The team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley knows just how far insurance companies will go to avoid paying out a legitimate claim. That’s why we fight hard to help clients get the compensation they deserve. You can right now to set up a consultation. If you’d prefer to talk to someone right away, call our Chatom office at 251-847-2237 or our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483.