When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the defense will scrutinize every aspect of your claim. This includes reviewing your medical records, your paychecks, and even your lifestyle. That’s right—as long as you are in a public setting, the defense has a right to gain information about your health, your habits, and your current daily activities. To do this, they may hire a private investigator to take photographs of you outside your home, at the grocery store, or out walking your dog. As long as they respect basic privacy rules, this is entirely legal.
Why do they do this? The defense is hoping to catch you performing an activity that your injury would normally prevent you from doing. Then, they will use this evidence to fight your lawsuit and reduce your compensation. Private investigators are not always known for being scrupulous either, and they may resort to deceptive tactics to gain the visual evidence they are looking for.
Unfortunately, this visual evidence does not always convey the true nature of a person’s injuries. While they may snap photos of you walking your dog, what they fail to take into account is how that activity made you feel both before, during, and after it was completed. Perhaps you walked your dog around the block but then were forced to take a double dose of pain medication or lie down for two hours afterward. Make no mistake, however, the defense will use this evidence to reduce their client’s liability and ultimately your compensation.
If you think that you may be under surveillance, it is important to notify your Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, as soon as possible. Your attorney can determine how to proceed and will be able to fight against this evidence in court. In addition, your attorney will be able to insist upon being able to see copies of all videotaped surveillance before depositions and trials.