It’s a not so well-kept secret that Insurance Companies often hire private investigators to conduct video surveillance of people involved in personal injury claims. Sometimes the efforts pay off in uncovering a fraudulent claim. More often than not hours of bland video are produced doing little more than intruding on the privacy of an injured plaintiff.
These days, however, private investigators may play less of a role as many Plaintiffs are doing the surveillance work themselves. That’s right, Plaintiffs spy on themselves and hand the goods right over to the Insurance Company.
I’m talking about the liberal use of social media, specifically YouTube. When you or a friend make a film and post it on YouTube chances are the video will be of better quality and give more intimate access to your life than anything a Private Investigator can put together. PI’s often film from the bushes, a van or other less than ideal locations. The videos produced are often grainy, distant and of poor quality. Most videos uploaded to YouTube, on the other hand, are up close and personal. These videos can give a lot of insight into a person’s life.
Whether or not these videos are damaging to your claim insurance companies are viewing them. This information can either be directly used against you or will give the insurance company further avenues to pursue in trying to damage your personal injury claim.
The reality is that insurance companies are effectively using social media and uncovering a gold-mine of useful information in the process. As I’ve previously written, the mere mention of ICBC on twitter will immediately bring you to their attention. If you’re using social media be aware that your audience is bigger than you intend.