The Risks of Using Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat Following an Accident
These days, social media has become engrained in our lives. For many people, sharing photos, statuses and updates are a daily habit. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other apps allow us to share details about our lives with friends, family members and others. When you’re filing an injury claim following an accident, however, using social media can affect your case and ultimately, your compensation.
Parker Waichman LLP has decades of experience representing automobile accident victims. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a car accident lawsuit.
When you’re injured in an accident and you file a claim with the insurance company, the case focuses on the severity of your injury. Did you suffer a broken limb and severe pain, or bumps and bruises? Were you able to return to work the next day, or did you have to take time off for medical treatment?
If you’re suing for a car accident caused by the negligence of someone else, that driver’s insurance company will likely want to prove that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. The more serious your injuries are, the more it will cost them. Therefore, the insurers will be looking for opportunities to downplay your injuries.
People use social media to project a public image of themselves. Taken out of context, sharing certain things on social media can be used against you while filing an injury claim. For example, after a car accident, you may feel inclined to reassure everyone that you’re “doing okay” by updating your Facebook status. This is understandable, you want to let your loved ones know how you are faring, and not want them to worry. However, this well-intentioned action may be used against you later. Insurance companies may argue that, based on your Facebook status, you are not as injured as you say.
In another example, if you post a photo of yourself out or participating in an activity, it can be misinterpreted during an injury claim. You may be suing for pain and suffering, but the insurance company can argue that your injuries are not serious because of your photos.
You do not want to give the insurance company any reason to believe that you are lying about your injury. Insurance adjusters will use any evidence they can to downplay your condition. Even old pictures can complicate matters. Say, for example, that you post pictures of yourself backpacking from before the accident. The insurance company will see that you are active and well, even though you claim to be at home with a broken leg. The insurance adjuster may not notice that the picture is from before the accident. As a result, your claim may get denied. Even if you get this matter sorted out by appealing and subsequently showing that the pictures were from a previous trip, it only creates trouble and delays your injury settlement.
Tips for Social Media Use During an Injury Claim
The quickest and easiest way to avoid social media issues during an injury claim is to disable or deactivate your account until the issue is resolved. However, this may not always be practical or possible. Some individuals rely on social media to keep in contact with friends and family, especially if they live far away.
If you are keeping your social media account during your injury claim, be sure to maximize your privacy settings. You only want people close to you seeing your posts. Additionally, make sure friends and family are not posting photos or statuses involving you that would send the wrong message about your injury.
In general, be very careful with everything you do on social media. Remember that the smallest action, such as a simple “like” on something, could be taken the wrong way. It is best to not post anything at all while you’re filing an injury claim. If you must post something, avoid anything emotional. Keep your information concise and factual.
Additionally, do not accept any friend or follow requests from people you do not know. Insurance agency employees may create fake accounts to obtain more information about you, using your information against you in court.
Legal Help for Car Accident Victims
Parker Waichman has decades of experience representing car accident and other accident victims. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, you may have valuable legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).