It always comes to mind as I warn injured people that they need to be aware that the insurance companies will be snooping around their lives and even videotaping them at times. Anyone needing to assert an insurance claim for damages for personal injury needs to be aware because some insurance companies will do pretty much anything to avoid paying full compensation.
In fact, I was once injured in a collision and the insurance company videotaped me. It certainly is a very intrusive thing to learn and feels like a personal violation once you know they actually have done this to you.
Surveillance Can Be A Fact Of Life In Personal Injury Cases
Insurance companies at times hire private investigators to follow, monitor and videotape claimants’ activities. The investigators goal is to record anything that tends to show the person is not injured in the way he or she is claiming. This can result in surveillance videos that the insurance company uses to avoid paying appropriate money damages to you. The videos can be used in court to persuade judges and jurors handling a case that a plaintiff does not deserve damages For example, an injured person asserts a claim for personal injury compensation from an injured knee incurred in an auto accident. But, the insurance company gets video of him working in the yard, or jogging or water skiing. The lawyers defending the insurance company might use that to convince the decision makers -judge or jury- that the plaintiff is not really injured and should not receive money in compensation.
Surveillance is Generally Legal In Idaho
While it may seem it should be illegal to videotape a person’s activities, usually its not. In Idaho, it is only illegal if it violates Idaho Code 18-6609 which criminalizes surveillance in private places where a person as a reasonable expectation of privacy. These are places like locker rooms, bedrooms and restrooms.
The statute provides:
“Place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” means:
(i) A place where a reasonable person would believe that he could undress, be undressed or engage in sexual activity in privacy, without concern that he is being viewed, photographed, filmed or otherwise recorded by an imaging device; or
(ii) A place where a person might reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile surveillance by an imaging device; or
(iii) Any public place where a person, by taking reasonable steps to conceal intimate areas, should be free from the viewing, recording, storing or transmitting of images obtained by imaging devices designed to overcome the barriers created by a person’s covering of intimate areas.
Even then it is only illegal if it is done “with the intent of arousing, appealing to or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of such person or another person, or for his own or another person’s lascivious entertainment or satisfaction of prurient interest, or for the purpose of sexually degrading or abusing any other person.”
The Key Point For Personal Injury Plaintiffs
The reality is these days the insurance companies can record your every move. As a claimant, just tell the truth. Do not exaggerate or make things up about your injuries. What usually happens to the few people who do that is the case becomes unwinnable or the value of it is substantially reduced.
Pay attention to what you are doing in public. Because Big Brother may well be watching.
Surveillance Is Not Always Bad
The flip side of the video surveillance is that if you have been honest it helps prove your case. For me, when I was videoed, the insurance company thought it had shown I was still riding my bike and couldn’t have the knee injury my doctor found had happened in the collision. In reality, the video helped me show how the knee injury I had incurred changed how I rode because of the injuries.
If you have questions about your personal injury claim, the insurance company tactics. or feel like somebody is watching you, call us. We are happy to provide an initial free consultation for injured people. We do not just want to be Idaho’s Injury Attorneys, our goal is to be the best injury attorneys in Idaho- Whether your injury claim is from Boise, Twin Falls, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Kootenai County, Moscow Idaho Falls or anywhere else across the state