Can Social Media Affect Your Injury Claim?
Posted in Personal Injury on May 21, 2018
Almost all personal injury lawyers will tell you to stay off of social media platforms during an insurance claim or civil lawsuit. Posting about the details of your accident or legal battle could potentially affect your injury claim – and not in a positive way. Social media might be a fundamental part of your personal life, but that doesn’t mean it has a place in personal injury. Consider all the ways social media could impact your claim before you choose to share.
Investigators Have Access to What You Post
Many personal injury claimants make the mistake of thinking that investigators don’t have access to “private” social media pages – or that they won’t pay attention to what you’re posting. Both of these assumptions are incorrect. Investigators will often perform social media platform searches when trying to discover information about a claimant’s life and recent incident, and they can learn more than you might think.
The defendant’s attorneys can use virtually anything investigators find on your social media sites against you during a court case. Keep in mind, deleting what you posted won’t necessarily erase it from the internet. Take the phrase, “The internet is forever,” to heart when it comes to your claim. Methods exist to retrieve deleted information and to access archives of your old pages. Attorneys can even access your phone records to use it as evidence against you.
Complaining about your situation, posting photographs, or Snapchatting what you’re doing may seem harmless at the time, but can be detrimental to your claim. Your safest bet is not to post anything to begin with. Refrain from blogging or posting about your experience until long after your case comes to a close – or not at all.
You Could Let Something Slip
Insurance companies have plenty of resources to spend on finding out whether a claimant is fraudulent or authentic. Before paying out thousands of dollars, you can rest assured an insurance company will investigate your claims as thoroughly as possible. Social media accounts can provide a wealth of evidence against a claimant in a personal injury claim.
For example, posting a video of yourself at a loud sports arena when you’ve told your insurance company that your concussion is giving you bad headaches could be evidence that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim. An insurance claims adjuster has the right to comb through your social media accounts to find a way to prove that your injuries aren’t as bad as you described them on your claim – including pain and suffering damages.
Pain and suffering damages can present an immense award to victims of personal injury accidents who experience emotional distress, mental anguish, or lost quality of life. Posting evidence that you’re happy and doing well on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat can minimize your odds of receiving these damages.
Your Friends or Family Members Could Hurt Your Claim
It’s not just your own pages you need to worry about after a personal injury accident – tell your friends and family not to post on your page, tag you in posts, or post photos with you in them until your case concludes. Those close to you could ruin your chances of compensation if they post something that helps the defense minimize or discredit your injuries.
Even a seemingly minor detail, such as a friend saying he or she was with you hours after the accident when you said you were at the hospital, can lead to unnecessary complications with your claim. You could run into issues from your social media accounts even if your injuries and claim are legitimate. It can be difficult to take a hiatus from social media in the aftermath of an accident, but doing so will be worth it in the long run.