Consider if you were just injured in a car wreck. What is your initial thought? You are not alone if you posted about the accident right away on social media. In 2015, it was found by the Pew Research Center that 74 percent of adults that are online use social media programs like Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and Instagram. A lot of times people share personal details for anyone in the public to view through photos or words. You may be tempted to post to social media when you’re injured, but you should try to resist the urge for the sake of protecting your personal injury claim.
It was revealed in an article posted in 2015 by The Huffington Post that the first place insurance companies look are social media accounts when they investigate accident and personal injury claims. Insurance companies are specifically going to go straight to your personal accounts to look for conflicting statements, and any other evidence and exaggerations about your case. In personal injury and accident cases, the opposing party will often try to search for posts that undermine your credibility by contradicting the injuries you have claimed you have suffered. Unless you are careful, the opposing party can use your posts to deny you compensation and discredit your claim.
You may even think your posts are “private,” but an opposing party can still find a way to gain access to your accounts. The best thing for you to do to protect your case is to deactivate your social media accounts. However, to prevent going into a complete social media blackout, there are some things to consider before you post:
1.Posting Your Accident Details
It’s possible that you might have a tendency to post about your recovery from an accident, but this could possibly seriously damage your chances of receiving compensation as well as your case as a whole. Even if you are just trying to calm the worries of family and friends by posting progress updates, this may result in you paying thousands of dollars if the insurance company sees these posts and denies your claim. One of the biggest mistakes you could make as a claimant is to misrepresent your recovery or activity level in a post. When you post to your social media account, you should do so as if you are posting directly for all other sides to see.
2.Posting Videos and Photos of Yourself After an Accident
There is a famous saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. Say that you have claimed that you’ve suffered a severe neck injury. If an insurance agency finds photos of you out at a baseball game or restaurant on your account, or even photos of you doing physical activities like dancing or hiking, they may use these photos to determine the extent of your injuries.
3.Using the “Check In” Feature After Your Car Accident
Just like photos, an insurance company may think that your injuries aren’t as serious as you’ve claimed if you’ve been using social media applications to “check in” to places like parks, movies, or any other social events. You should definitely avoid checking in to places that you should not be at as an injured person. However, the best thing to do would be to wait until your case is resolved before you use the “check in” feature at all.
4.Participating in Online Forums and Message Boards
As well as refraining from posting about your injury and progress on your personal accounts, you should avoid posting about them on blogs and outside forums as well. It might feel good to have support from other people who have gone through similar situations, but insurance companies might be able to use the posts against you and might try to negotiate a lower settlement offer.
5.Things That Come Up On Google
One of the first things an insurance company will do is look you up on Google to try to find potentially damaging posts. A good place to start to find out what insurance adjusters are finding out about you is to Google yourself.
6.Posting About Your High Scores
Even though you might be really excited about reaching that new high score or level on Candy Crush or Angry Birds, this can also send trouble your way if you have claimed that your injury is too severe for you to even perform a sedentary job.
7.Make Your Privacy Settings Higher
Make sure your share settings are set to the highest privacy level before you post something. However, you should know that just because you increase your privacy settings does not mean that the other side cannot see your posts. Even despite your best efforts to be precautionary, a court could still grant permission to the other side for them to access your profile.
8.Watch Out For Fake Friend Requests
In hopes of gaining quick access to your profile, an insurance company can very easily create a fake account under a pseudonym and add you as a “friend.” You should not be accepting friend requests from anyone you do not know and you should be on the lookout for anyone following you when you post account updates.
Overall, not posting anything that you don’t want the other side to see, is a good rule of thumb to use. If you think that posting something might be damaging to your claim, then you most likely should not post it at all. The other side will have more ammunition to use against you if you post a lot of things.
Be careful, or your personal injury claim can be negatively affected by social media. A knowledgeable lawyer can assist you with protecting your claim if you are wondering if what you are putting on social media can harm your personal injury case. If you need an experienced Scottsdale, Arizona personal injury attorney, contact us right away.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident of any kind, give the law offices of Warnock MacKinlay Law a call. Nate can discuss the details of your case with you and outline ways that you can proceed and receive possible compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and other related costs.
Call Nate today at 602-833-0933 and find out how he can help and set up a free initial consultation and legal analysis.