While it is common to share much of your personal life on your social media platforms, it is not wise to do so while in the pursuit of filing a claim for a personal injury or any case. Insurance companies take your claims and investigate as much as possible, as they would like to limit the payout as much as they can. Adjusters will look just as carefully at your previous posts as they will any posts after the claim is filed. In many instances, those involved in any accidents or personal injury cases have been denied for so much as the wrong photograph posted online. Insurance adjusters will view many social media sites such as:
Because the solitary purpose of your injury claim is to deem another party guilty of negligence to some degree, it is imperative to be conscious of how freely you post on your social media platforms. Insurance companies do not wish to pay out money if they do not have to.
All factors influence insurance claims before and after an instance occurs, and what you do or do not do can affect your claim. After an accident or injury transpires it is common to vent or post images of the event that has transpired, but this is not a great idea. The first place adjusters may look will be your social media account. Where you go, what you say about the particular event or lack thereof, all of these things play a role in the insurance companies final decision unless a trial happens.
Insurance companies look for anything like videos or photos partaking in activities that would further damage alleged injuries. It may be best to avoid social media or certain interactions while in the process of an injury claim to avoid being discredited. And even while there are privacy settings, there are ways to get around these precautions when an injury claim investigation is ongoing. Limit use until resolved but always be sure to make adjustments accordingly and avoid adding new friends you do not actually know.
Here are some common social media mistakes that could ruin your claim:
- Vent Posting: Maybe you are in genuine pain, but you realized this could possibly be an opportunity to relieve yourself of financial hardships. So, you decide to post a bit about your case and possible settlement. Bad idea. Maybe you are so upset about the accident that you went to your Facebook friends for advice. Bad idea. You do not want insurance companies finding out more of your story than initially shared. Even posts from before your accident could be trouble for your claim. Complaining about your day, or being in a bad place just moments before the accident. Maybe even a tweet or post shortly before the incident can easily be made out as a message posted while you were in fact behind the wheel, and you could lose your entire credibility and place yourself in a position of negligence as well.
- Posting Images: Maybe you have excruciating back pain that was allegedly caused in the accident. However, hours later you posted a picture in yoga class, or the gym. No matter the extent of the pain, minor or major, certain posts can completely alter your credibility just because you don’t “seem” as hurt as you claimed.
- Logging Activities: You are not in this alone. Be sure to inform your friends to be mindful of your current claim or make sure to refrain from certain activities. Friends may tag you in photos in places that may challenge your claim although you may not be participating. Friends tagging you in photos or at places could also contradict your claim, or put you in a place doing things that you are not.
After an accident, the safest thing to do is clear your social media accounts of anything that may discredit your story. This is not to encourage giving false information, but even in your innocence there may be something online that deems you somewhat responsible for said incident. These tips do not guarantee a win in your case but will help avoiding a loss. Please speak with an attorney, like a personal injury attorney Atlanta GA can count on, to discuss your social media presence and the best way to avoid being discredited during a personal injury case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into protecting your claim on social media.