It is not unusual for an insurer to retain an investigator to perform a surveillance and perhaps take video of an injured person. I had one case where the supposedly injured person was videotaped carrying a heavy air conditioner up a steep flight of steps; needless to say, when plaintiff’s attorney found out about the video, his negotiating position was compromised greatly and the value of the case decreased dramatically.
My experience has been that a jury typically believes a surveillance video is an invasion of privacy unless it is “smoking gun” evidence, i.e., it proves that plaintiff can do much more physically than what he alleges he can do.
The lesson is that the plaintiff should expect that he/she may be videotaped if that plaintiff is alleging long-term disability or inability to perform physical tasks/activities. Likewise, defendants should be aware that videotaping an injured person may backfire with the jury unless it truly shows that plaintiff to be a liar or malingerer.
Here at Harris & Associates, P.C., we have had extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants and have had proven success knowing what discovery to conduct.