Insurance companies use video surveillance to gather evidence against claimants and plaintiffs.
Points in claims’ process where surveillance is used
• The assessment of a claim’s worth
• When it becomes necessary to determine the veracity of 2 conflicting statements
• During negotiations, in order to examine the victim’s behavior
Where and how the footage is taken
The footage must be taken in a public setting
• a restaurant
• a store
• a mall
• an open parking lot at a business
• a park
While the video footage gets taken, no audio recording gets made; many states forbid the making of an audio recording.
How personal injury lawyers fight and contest the information obtained by video surveillance.
Lawyers fight the introduction of new evidence, when the insurance company hopes to contest a claim. According to the rules that lawyers must obey, it is illegal to present new evidence during a trial, unless it has been introduced in response to a comment that was made by the other side.
Judges do not look kindly on any action that seems to be an attempt by an insurance company to throw cold water on a plaintiff’s claims. Such attempts usually involve a showing of video surveillance footage. That approach annoys judges, because it often relies on the introduction of evidence that was not used during the discovery session.
Lawyers always object to any tactic that can be viewed as an intrusion on their client’s rights. The making of the video does not usually intrude on the client’s right to privacy. The footage is shot while the subject is spending time in a spot that is open to the public.
So, what are the grounds for the attorney’s objection to the display of such footage? That objection concerns another right that an injured client ought to enjoy. That is the right to recovery. The video surveillance might intrude on some period of the client’s recovery. The client’s attorney does not condone the practice of seeking to compromise the right of an injured individual, one who hopes to enjoy a full recovery.
Injury lawyers in Wilmette might back up their objections by showing how insurance companies have pressured a given client to settle, before reaching the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Injured patients must work with their doctors, in order to judge when they have reached the point of MMI.
A part of that patient-doctor effort could involve learning how the patient felt, when attempting a certain activity. If an insurance company has taken footage of that prescribed trial activity, then it has intruded on some aspect of the patient’s recovery. If that patient happened to be the client of a personal injury lawyer, then the same lawyer would fight the introduced footage.