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I’m being followed after an accident

I am currently pursuing a personal injury claim following a motorcycle accident I had in 2016. I was seriously injured and I was off work for over 12 months. I have always liked to keep myself busy and although my injuries have curtailed my hobbies, during my recovery I am still often found working on vehicles and DIY projects. Last week my solicitor called me to let know that the Defendant had obtained surveillance footage of me working in my open garage. They say that this shows that I am not as injured as I claim to be. To my mind it seems an invasion of my privacy, can I do anything to stop them?

Ben, Manchester



Although the Human Rights Act 1998 does protect you right to privacy, this only applies to public authorities and surveillance carried out by a privately instructed enquiry agent filmed from a public place is not illegal. The agents are not permitted to trespass on private property, but more often than not the Claimant has very little idea they are actually even being filmed.

Unfortunately there is little a legal representative can do to prevent an insurer carrying out surveillance or objecting to its use in court. It has recently become a more widespread tool, used by Defendants in personal injury cases, and if the footage captured by an enquiry agent shows that the extent of the claimant’s injuries is not as severe as they have suggested, the value of a claimant’s compensation can be reduced. In very rare cases if it is found that the claimant has been wholly dishonest about their injuries their claim can be struck out by a judge.

The best advice for claimants is simple and that is to make sure that they are always honest and consistent when evidencing the impact of their injuries on their lives. As long as this is the case it will ensure that the surveillance will have little to no bearing on their claim and sometimes it even back fires and helps to show the day to day impact of the claimant’s injuries.



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