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How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

January 9, 2019 Hastings and Hastings

Social media is the place where people tend to “tell all” about themselves. From what they’re eating to where they’re vacationing and, in general, how they might be feeling that day, people post both personal and impersonal posts about their lives on social media. While this may seem harmless in most circumstances, when it comes to any kind of accident you may be involved in, posting about that accident and a personal injury claim on social media could come back to haunt you.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and are filing a personal injury claim, it is best to keep this to yourself and avoid any social media posts pertaining to the accident and claim. Why? Because anything you post, no matter how innocent it may appear, can be used against your personal injury claim. At Hastings & Hastings, we always urge our clients to refrain from social media posts that could influence the outcome of a claim. Read on to learn some tips and suggestions that you can follow when it comes to social media and your personal injury claim.

Privacy Rights and Social Media

Did you know that anything you post on social media can be used in a court of law? Because social media posts are considered public despite any privacy settings you may have implemented, they can still be accessed through various ways. For example, a person could use a fake identity to access your posts. In other cases, the insurance adjuster can request access to your social media posts in order to build a case against your claim. For this reason, we recommend refraining from social media while going through a personal injury claim.

How Can Social Media Damage my Personal Injury Claim?

Once you submit a personal injury claim, the insurance adjuster starts to do his job. This means he intends to prove that you were responsible for the accident and/or your injuries are not present or are not as serious as you claim. They will try to use any social media posts to verify their findings against you. In general, the insurance adjuster will look for the following types of social media posts to prove their case. These include:

Pictures: If you’ve claimed an injury, the insurance adjuster will look for any posts that contradict this. These types of posts include your being active, such as playing a sport with friends, going for a jog, dancing at a party, and more. Even a simple picture of you smiling and looking happy than ever can be used against you.

Videos: Any videos you post that give the appearance you’re feeling just fine can seriously weaken your claim. Any video that contradicts your injury claim or shows that you could be exaggerating your claim can be used against you in court.

Comments: If you’ve posted about your accident and injuries, the insurance adjuster will take the time to read through any comments you have made. This information, which is typically considered privileged between you and your attorney, can easily give the insurance adjuster a heads up about your case. Furthermore, the insurance adjuster may even go back years through your social media accounts to look for any other personal injury claims you may have made in the past with a focus on finding deceptive claims.

How can I Protect Myself on Social Media?

During a personal injury claim, the best way to protect yourself is to stay away from social media altogether. This may seem like a tall order, especially since many individuals rely on social media to stay in touch with others and to even run their businesses. However, if getting off of social media is not an option for you, then we recommend you follow these three tips.

Adjust privacy settings: Be sure your privacy settings are set to only friends and family being allowed to view your posts. As stated above, this is not a flawless plan, but will help you to maintain a certain degree of privacy.

Think before you post: Before posting anything on social media, try to think like the insurance adjuster. Would he be able to use this post against you? If your answer is yes or even if you’re not really sure, don’t post it. Never post anything about your claim or the events that led to it.

Alert friends and family: Give your friends and family a call and let them know what is happening. Ask them not to discuss your case on social media at all because the insurance adjuster can use any of this information against you.

To learn more about protecting yourself on social media during the claim process, contact Hastings & Hastings today at 480-706-1100 today.