A question often raised by personal injury clients is “Will ICBC hire a private investigator?” The answer is not always a straight-forward one.
In a relatively basic personal injury claim, ICBC probably will not hire an investigation firm to do surveillance on you. However, some adjusters live by video surveillance and will, relatively quickly after a claim, hire an investigator. That being said, in today’s economic environment, ICBC adjusters are judged by their “allocated expenses”, which means they need to try to keep costs down when defending each claim. Sometimes, the cost involved in hiring an investigative firm is not justifiable.
If you have been off work for more than a few months following your accident, the chances of your having video surveillance increases. Also, if the size of your claim increases over time, the chances of ICBC hiring a private investigator to follow, observe and video record you also increases.
However, you should not be paranoid about being followed by an investigator or video surveillance team but you should be somewhat observant when it comes to video surveillance. For example, if you see a van parked down the street for several hours with someone in it, chances are that it may be one of ICBC’s investigators. If you see a vehicle following you, the same suspicion should be raised.
ICBC, in more significant claims, will often use video surveillance as a form of a defence tool to hopefully show that you are generally uninjured or not as injured as you claim. This invasion of privacy is only effective if you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries. If you say that you are unable to do such things as lifting heavier items, performing vigorous activities and playing sports, yet ICBC produces videotape of you doing these things, the validity of your entire claim is compromised. Be honest with your doctors, your specialists and your lawyer.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, feel free to contact us at Einfeld Law and let our experienced lawyers assure you of your rights. Why settle for less? Call (250) 712-0001 or visit us at www.einfeldlaw.com.
D. Glenn Einfeld is a highly knowledgeable and experienced BC personal injury lawyer and BC motorcycle accident lawyer who has successfully litigated many ICBC claims and other insurance claims, including out of province claims, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, soft tissue injury, and all other serious injury claims.