Though social media has become an integral part of daily life for most of the population, if you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you may be inadvertently providing information that can hurt your case. This is why it is important that you exercise extreme caution before posting to social media.
Why do insurance companies check social media?
Insurance companies almost always investigate an injured person’s social media after a slip and fall, motor vehicle accident, or medical case. Unfortunately, social media has made it easier for insurance companies to monitor activity without having to be in sight of an injured person since so many people willingly give their information publicly. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys use almost anything posted on social media to harm your case, including evidence that injuries are not as extensive as claimed.
In fact, some insurance companies hire investigators to scrutinize social media profiles, exploring your photos and posts. They might even go so far as to send friend requests to you or even your close friends in the hope of gaining access to your private accounts. The information they gather is sent to the insurance company to help them dispute or undermine your claim.
How can social media hurt your case?
Great care should be taken not to say something on social media that contradicts what you are claiming in your case. The connections a savvy insurance adjuster or attorney can make between your case and your posts are limitless. For instance, if you claim to have suffered a shoulder injury, but you post on social media that you are playing tennis, the insurance company will most likely challenge your injuries. Or if you are pursuing lost wages or loss of earning capacity while showing off a home improvement project, you may sabotage your personal injury claim.
Though your social media account may be private, an insurance adjuster or attorney can ask for printouts of your activity during the discovery process, the phase of the lawsuit where both sides exchange information to build their respective cases. Defendants in lawsuits have the right to seek information about you, including information that is not a public record. While court intervention is typically not needed, either party can ask a court to compel the production of documents and information. If the court deems the information discoverable, the court can order you to produce information from your social media accounts. This includes deactivated or deleted accounts as well.
How should you manage your social media during a personal injury case?
Knowing how to maintain a social media account during a personal injury case is critical for success. In most cases, suspending the account completely throughout the duration of the case is recommended. However, if the account must remain active, updating privacy settings to the highest level possible will help ensure that insurance adjusters cannot view posts. Even with this precaution, claimants should still ensure they are not posting contradictory information.
If an injured person has posts that provide evidence on social media of the injuries that were sustained, it is vital to keep this evidence available. The law forbids the deletion of social media information that is or may be relevant to the case. Additionally, claimants should consider what friends and family might post about them on social media. Any time a social gathering or outing occurs, it is essential to request that the injured person’s photo not be posted. At the very least, a request should be made that the relative or friend does not tag the injured person in the photo.
Why Choose Graves McLain?
With our extensive experience in personal injury claims, we are ready to do what it takes to get you a top-dollar settlement. At Graves McLain, we devote all of our firm’s resources to you from the moment we take your case. To put your case in the best position and secure the best results possible, we prepare for trial from the very beginning. Our personal injury attorneys understand the complexity of specialized cases and are ready to pursue litigation aggressively if necessary.
If you or a loved one suffers a personal injury in any type of accident due to negligence, call Graves McLain right away at 918-359-6600. When you call one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, we will speak with you for FREE and determine the best course of action. Trust our team; we are here to help.