Social media is ubiquitous. There are very few Americans who don’t have a social media account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snap Chat. With so many people logging on to social media accounts and posting more and more personal information, you can be certain that insurance companies are taking notice and advantage of the situation. More and more insurance companies are trying to turn social media into a tool to use against accident victims.
When you have been in a motor vehicle crash, it is important to be aware of how your social media postings can affect your personal injury case. These are some of the things to keep in mind with a social media account when you have a personal injury claim
USE YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS
It is important to use your privacy settings and set them to maximum privacy when you are injured and making a claim. Insurance adjusters and insurance defense attorneys regularly research injury victims by trying to access their accounts and gather information about them surreptitiously. They are looking for information that will hurt your claim and undermine it in some way. To make sure you don’t help them get that information, increase your privacy setting. Limiting access to your social media accounts is a partial guard against this type of snooping.
THE “HAPPY POST” PROBLEM
I recently saw a T-shirt that said: “I hope your life is as happy as it seems on Facebook.” It speaks to the truth that everyone wants to make themselves look as great, wonderful and happy as possible on their social media posts. This is not always a realistic representation of one’s life and circumstances. However, there can be no doubt that the insurance companies will try to use it against a victim who talks about how difficult his life was after the crash.
THE “NOT REALLY INJURED POST” PROBLEM
Assume that whatever you post will be seen by the insurance defense attorney and adjuster. Your posts may come back to haunt you. If you depict yourself doing activities inconsistent with your claims for damages, it can have a very negative impact on your claim for damages. Even though the posts do not always represent the reality of your situation, they can be used to undermine your claims and it may be difficult to explain the context in which they were taken.
THE “OFFENSIVE POST” PROBLEM
Many people put on posts that are mean in spirit or designed to offend and aggravate others. Any time you do this it reflects poorly on you and may offend others. In a personal injury case, this may be a problem because it is important that the adjuster and attorney on the other side like you. If they don’t, you may not be able to prevent it. However, it is easier to give money to someone you like and this is just the reality.
Social media can be a good thing and offers us unique opportunities for staying in touch. This can be wonderful but it is also a double-edged sword. You need to be aware of the risks and take care to protect yourself from those who will seek to use it against you.
Always ask yourself these questions before you post on social media:
- Could this post have a negative impact on a lawsuit?
- Would I show this photo or information to the adjuster or insurance attorney?
- Why am I posting this photo or information?
- Is it helpful to post about my accident?
If you have already posted something relating to an accident or litigation, it is not recommended that you immediately delete or remove the post. You need to consult with a lawyer before you do this. It could be seen as destruction of evidence and could damage your case.
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, call Whitener Law Firm to find out what we can do to get you the money you deserve. For a free consultation regarding a personal injury claim, contact us at 505-883-7877.
There is NO FEE unless we win your case.