Am I being followed?
You look over your shoulder, walk a few steps, and look again. You just can’t shake the feeling that someone is behind you. But surely not – this isn’t aHollywoodblockbuster after all.
If you are claiming compensation for your injuries, you could very well be the subject of surveillance. It is common practice for insurance companies to hire private investigators to film and photograph you as they prepare their defence. They may follow you or set up base outside your house.
What does this mean for your case?
There are two ways that insurance companies can use surveillance against you.
To show what you can do:
The first way is to use surveillance as substantive evidence of your physical capabilities. For instance, footage of you cutting your lawn could be shown to the jury to demonstrate that your ankle injury isn’t that serious, or that you don’t need assistance with home maintenance. To use surveillance in this way, the insurance company must produce it to you long before trial.
To suggest that you are untruthful:
The second way is to use surveillance for impeachment purposes. If you testify that injuries prevent you from cutting the grass and surveillance shows you doing just that, the video or photographs can be shown to the jury for the purpose of hurting your credibility.
Remember, only surveillance that is inconsistent with your story is damning. If you’ve been upfront and honest about your injuries and capabilities, surveillance is useless.