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The answer may depend on the state in which you live. Some states have laws that forbid insurers from using private investigators, while others allow it under certain circumstances. California law prohibits an insurance company from sending someone to secretly observe or photograph an insured person without their knowledge or consent (California Insurance Code, Section 2071). However, there are exceptions to this rule. The insurance company may be allowed to hire a private investigator to conduct surveillance on you if they suspect you are fraudulently claiming disability benefits.

What is the Purpose of a Private Investigator?

The purpose of the private investigator is to gather necessary information for the insurance company in regard to your claim. The investigator will typically take pictures of the accident scene, interview witnesses, and collect other evidence deem worthy, that can prove you were the at fault party.

As it is their profession, private detectives are well-versed in remaining hidden to gather as much intelligence on their targets as possible. As such, most accident victims may be unaware they are being observed until it is too late.

These investigators may do a lot of background research. They might look into:

  • Financial records–to see if you have a history of filing claims
  • Social media–to see if you have posted anything that could be used against you
  • Medical records–to see if you have any pre-existing conditions that could have contributed to the accident
  • Driving record–to see if you have any previous accidents or infractions

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

If you have been in an car accident, there are several steps one must take to protect themselves from a hired private investigator. First, get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. These witnesses can provide valuable objective testimony about what happened and who was at fault. Second, you should take pictures of the accident scene immediately after the accident occurs. These pictures can be used as evidence to support your claim. Third, consult with an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer who can use their expertise to help you navigate the insurance claim process and protect your rights.

Looking for Answers to Important Legal Questions? Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney in Los Angeles Today

Having a well-established personal injury law firm in your corner is in the best interest of your claim – and the best interest of your ongoing recovery. At Los Angeles City Law, our injury attorneys are committed to skillfully employing our wealth of experience in pursuit of your claim’s optimal outcome. There is no financial risk to you. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact LA City Law at 866-522-4895 or visit to learn more.

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