So many of us post on social media each day, often multiple times per day. We post about so many things that it is not surprising personal injury victims would post about the accident, their injuries or their compensation claim.
Unfortunately, people often post things without considering any possible negative consequences. For example, comments you post on social media could be used against you as reasons to deny or underpay your claim. The insurance company is going to try to view your social media accounts to check for potentially damaging posts. Even if you have privacy settings on your accounts, these apps are not as secure as you may believe.
Friedman, Domiano and Smith discuss social media during injury claims, including why avoiding it while your attorney seeks compensation for your damages may be best.
If you were injured and believe another party is to blame, our Cleveland-based personal injury attorneys are prepared to help you seek compensation for your damages. Our services come with no upfront costs and no fees while we pursue compensation. The initial consultation is also free of charge, and you are not obligated to hire our firm.
How Your Social Media Posts Could Affect Your Claim
Your actions and statements after an injury can have a positive or negative effect on your claim for compensation. The things you say and do can impact your credibility. This includes comments and posts on your social media accounts. However innocent, they could give the insurance company reasons to assign fault for the crash to you or to downplay the severity of your injuries.
You may already know how making offhand comments to the insurance company that sound like an apology could be considered an admission of fault for the accident. Similar issues may arise if you apologize in a social media post or say you could have acted differently to prevent the accident. If the insurance company finds the post, you can be sure they will try to use that comment against you.
Writing about exercising or any strenuous physical activity in your social media posts could also be a bad idea. The insurance company could say these posts indicate you are not as seriously injured as you claim or that you are failing to take steps to mitigate your damages.
Pictures of you on social media are another type of damaging post that could be used against you. For example, if you post pictures of yourself on vacation during the legal process. The insurance company could argue these pictures indicate you are not injured or that your injuries have already healed. The insurance company may also say these pictures invalidate your claim for lost wages or lost earning capacity.
Another way the insurance company could use your social media accounts is to use old posts from before your injury against you. They may try to present an old picture as a recent post in an effort to discredit your statements about the extent of your injuries. More likely, they could use an old post to show you have a preexisting injury. In addition to damaging earlier statements you made, they may attempt to blame your current symptoms on that injury.
Posts or comments from friends or family members could also be a problem. You have less control over those but they could still potentially be used against you. For example, if a family member or friend says you will be OK or your recovery is going well, the insurance company may say they have proof you have healed.
How Insurance Companies Could See Your Posts
Many people have not enabled privacy settings on their social media accounts. However, even if you have, your accounts may not be as secure as you think. The insurance company may also snoop around the social media accounts of your friends and family members.
Sometimes insurance adjusters make social media accounts just to send friend requests or follow accident victims. If you get a friend request from someone you do not know during your claim, you should not accept it. It could be someone from the insurance company trying to find information to use against you.
Even if you avoid posting on social media during your claim, you should still check the privacy settings on your accounts. You can set your Twitter and Instagram accounts to private and set your Facebook account so only your friends can see your post. This should help prevent the insurance company from seeing old posts.
Benefits of Staying Off Social Media
If you post on social media, you must be very careful about what you say and the pictures you post. However, if you avoid posting altogether, you do not need to think about what is appropriate to post or what you need to keep off your social media accounts. Your attorney may also recommend not posting.
It may be helpful for you to tell your friends and family members to avoid discussing your accident and your injuries on social media. For example, you may want to tell them not to comment about anything on your social media accounts.
If you do post anything on social media, avoid discussing your injuries or the accident. You could post something that hurts your credibility without realizing it. People often want to post about positive things in their lives. However, talking about how well your recovery is going could be a bad idea.
You should also avoid deleting any old posts or anything new that you post. For example, you may post something and then realize it could hurt your case and delete it. However, deleting a post makes it look like you have something to hide.
Need Legal Help? Contact Friedman, Domiano and Smith
When you suffer an injury caused by negligence, you need experienced legal assistance. The insurance company is going to do its best to find a reason to deny your claim or offer much less compensation than you need. You need an experienced advocate in your corner fighting for your interests – many times victims who hire an attorney recover more compensation than those who do not have an attorney.
We represent injured victims on contingency, which means no upfront fees. We do not get paid for our services unless you get paid.
Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call 216-621-0070.
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