Did you know that 77 percent of the entire world’s population has had some type of social media profile? From Tweeting to posting to snapping, social media has slowly but surely taken over modern-day communication. Although it is wonderful for keeping in touch with old friends, staying current on events, and sharing news and photos with your loved ones, it’s also eliminated the idea of personal privacy. Just about anyone can search, and successfully find, information on you with the simple click of a mouse. Although useful, it can be quite problematic when you have a legal matter at stake. Privacy is an invaluable asset to your personal injury case, as any information found about you, can be used against you. Please read through this article composed by Injury Lawyer, Brian M. Boyer:
How social media can ruin your personal injury claim
Q: Take a few steps back and think about it. If you’ve been injured and you are filing an injury claim, what do you think the first thing the insurance company, the company that is liable for compensating you for your injuries, is going to do?
A: They are going to do their research; they are going to use every resource they have to prove that you are as injured as you say you are… and do you want to know where they are going to start? Social media. Even if you have the strictest privacy settings on your social accounts, information can still be found. Images can still be found. If you are posting photos of you and your friends out on a Friday night while you’re supposed to be using crutches; some questions are going to arise. Your credibility will be questioned.
The insurance adjuster will check your social media
A personal injury insurance adjuster’s responsibility is to gather as much information as they can on your case that will allow them to pay as little as possible. This includes researching whether or not you seek medical treatment, whether or not your medical bills are justified, whether or not you have a viable personal injury case. That said, if you provide sensitive information about your personal injury case online, post photos, or discuss injury details that are inconsistent with the injuries you’ve claimed, it can–and usually will–be used to devalue your claim and jeopardize your credibility.
I remember hearing a story a few years back. A woman had hired an attorney following a pretty nasty slip and fall at a major retailer. She was ordered to wear a neck brace and was unable to return to work as a waitress. There was no argument to be made about whether or not she had a case. Unfortunately, a few months prior to settling her case, she’d posted an image to social media. In the image, she was not wearing a neck brace (ordered by her doctor) and she was holding a small child. She appeared to be in OK condition. Moreover, she had indicated–online–that she was feeling “much better” after her accident. This information was used against her, and needless to say she and her attorney lost the case.
As an injury attorney with ample experience with these types of cases, I can personally attest that social media simply is not worth it. Exchanging any sensitive case information to a third party is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in any personal injury claim. After experiencing an accident injury, the best advice I can give you is to not, I repeat, do NOT post any incriminating information online until AFTER your case has settled! Instead, contact us for immediate help and guidance on how you should proceed.