Private Investigations and Personal Security/Offshore Injury


QUESTION: I was hurt offshore a year ago with a back injury and have a lawsuit filed against my company.  I have been waiting for a back surgery that has not happened.  I am awaiting my deposition and have only answered a few written questions from the defendants attorney.

I live in a somewhat country neighborhood on three acres with woods on two sides (private property).  My wife seems to "feel" that someone is watching us.  She says they will hide in the woods all day and tape me.

What are the chances that someone is watching me in the woods.  And what are the chances that I would notice a suspicious car or something. There is only one way in and out of my house.

Please advise

ANSWER: If you are claiming that you back injury is the reason you can't work or that it has somehow limited your ability to work, then it is reasonable to assume that at some point the defense law firm (the ones representing your company's  insurance carrier) will want you placed under surveillance for what is known as an "activities check." Its precisely that, just a check up to see what you are doing during the day and to see if you are working.

Unless your claim is a particularly large one or the physical evidence just doesn't support any of your claim, and the insurance carrier thinks you are engaged in a fraud, not all that much time is spent on these types of surveillance. Probably no more than 20=30 hours maximum.

If your claim is legitimate you should not concern yourself with the activities of the investigators.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What are the chances that I would notice them around my house?  And what  are the chances that they would hide in the woods on private property,

If the investigators are good at their craft, I doubt that you will notice them. As for the chances that they would hide on private property, I can't even hazard a guess because I don't know the investigators in question. Some would do that, others won't.  

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Nichols (Nic) J. Smith


I can answer almost any question with regards to the individual state laws concerning private investigators; best practices and procedures used in private investigations;how to determine if the agency or investigator you are contemplating using is sufficiently qualified to do the work and if an investigation was conducted in accordance with the standards of practice and care used in the professional investigative industry. I can also direct you with regards to doing your own research in certain situations, such as finding someone who owes you money. I can steer you through the database "minefield" with regards to which databases contain useful information and which don't. I can also advise regarding the kind of information that you can legally obtain and what's not legal.


Awards and Honors
Life Fellow- American College of Forensic Examiners

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Morgan Lewis and Brockius (Int'l Law firm) Sedgwick, Detert (Int'l Law Firm) Bingham McCutheon (Int'l Law Firm

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