Can a Private Investigator Help After a Car Accident?

What to Do After a Car Accident to Support the Claim Process

Hiring a private investigator is one of the best things you can do after an auto accident, especially if it was a hit and run. In a personal injury claims case, the burden of proof lies on you and your attorney. Adding an experienced private detective to your team is the key to a successful outcome.

How Private Investigators Aid The Investigation Process

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, but it happens more often than you think. In some cases, the drivers panic and flee the scene. Other times, they’re just trying to avoid any liabilities.

The key to liability in many traffic cases is capturing evidence right after the car crash. This holds true whether the accident was a hit and run or not. The last thing you want is to worry about whether the other party will come forward or not.

Whether you’re the claimant or defendant in a personal injury case, retaining an experienced attorney should be your first priority, followed by hiring a private investigator. The police can help, but it’s always best to carry out your own investigation, primarily if there isn’t much to go on.

In the best-case scenario, there will be witness and victim statements, photographs of the scene, and any other evidence such as CCTV footage. Besides, the police can make errors or overlook important evidence such as obscured road signs or faulty streetlights.

A private investigator ensures you and your legal team have the full story and all the evidence needed to make your case. They’re your eyes, ears, and “boots on the ground.”

It’s also important to note that evidence such as eyewitness accounts plus photos and videos has its way of degrading over time.

Physical evidence could be tampered with, and surveillance videos could be lost. It’s not unheard of for opposing parties to change their stories from what they told the police. Your PI is your case’s personal detective. They will keep an accurate record and maintain the integrity of all evidence and incident reports.

A seasoned private investigator is an expert at piecing together small bits of information and can be an indispensable asset in your personal injury claim.

Why Do Insurance Companies Use Private Investigators?

As the injured party, don’t be surprised when the liable insurance company assigns a private detective to your case. While insurance companies using private investigators may seem like an underhanded tactic, they want to protect their bottom line and monitor for fraudulent claims. To reduce their vulnerabilities, insurance companies cannot just accept the victim’s word for it. This is true for most personal injury claims, including car accidents or workers’ compensation claims.

In this case, the private investigator’s job is to dig into the injured person’s background and investigate whether they have a history of making similar claims.

An insurance company’s investigator might:

  • Look at your financial records to see whether you have cause to exaggerate your injuries
  • Investigate your driving record to determine whether you have a history of reckless driving
  • Look at your social media profiles
  • Follow and photograph you at a distance in public settings
  • Talk to your neighbors, co-workers, and other people you may know

The good news is that there are legal limits to this kind of surveillance. Investigators must adhere to privacy laws. So, even though they can follow you around, they cannot wiretap you or record conversations. Plus they cannot take videos or photograph anything that happens inside your home through closed shades. Additionally, private detectives may not trespass on private property.

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about private investigators impersonating law enforcement officers in an effort to get information from you, as this is illegal.

Fortunately, insurance companies don’t assign private investigators to every injury claim. This kind of investigation is used in cases where the claims are significant or when the insurance company has a reason to suspect exaggeration or fraud. So, while having someone follow you around may be uncomfortable, it’s completely legal.

What to do After a Car Accident and How a Private Detective can Help

Even the very smallest of details can be of help after a car accident. At Sig 14 Investigations, we’ve helped numerous crash victims.

With today’s state-of-the-art technology, we can reconstruct accident scenes and collect invaluable evidence, and thereby, help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can set you on the path of justice.