How Your Facebook or Instagram Posts Could Hurt Your ClaimJanuary 6, 2020
Most of us have an account on at least one social media app or website, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or something else. And while social media may be a convenient way of getting in touch with our friends and family, total strangers can also see your posts, and that may include insurance adjusters.
If you’re in the process of filing a compensation claim, or are considering that you might, that’s the last thing you want. And because your social media posts are considered part of the public record, insurance companies and their lawyers can see those posts without a warrant or subpoena, even if your account is set to private! Insurance companies are motivated to reduce or deny even legitimate claims to protect their profits, and your social media posts could accidentally help them do that.
- Your posts could accidentally admit fault. Examples: “I didn’t see the other car until it was too late,” and “I didn’t have time to stop.”
- Your posts could accidentally minimize your injuries. Examples: “It was scary but I’m okay,” and “I’m lucky it wasn’t worse.”
- Your posts could imply you contributed to your own crash. Examples: Photos or videos posted to your account that were taken on your phone while driving could cause the judge or jury to think you weren’t paying attention to the road when you crashed. Likewise, posts about being tired, stressed, or upset on the day of or the days leading up to the accident could cause the defense to argue your emotional state contributed to the crash.
- Your posts could contradict your claim. No one has a perfect memory, but if you accidentally post that the crash happened at 6 p.m. when it happened at 5 p.m., for example, the insurance company could use it against you.
- Your photos could misrepresent your physical and emotional health. Car crash injuries can be seriously debilitating and traumatizing, but if you are posting pictures of you smiling or attending events outside your home, the insurance company could argue you weren’t as seriously impacted by your accident as you really were.
- Your posts could put your motivation in question. It’s natural to be angry when you are seriously injured because someone else behaved negligently, and most injury victims are only seeking the money they need to cover their medical expenses and put their lives back together. But going off against the at-fault party on social media could cause the judge or jury to think you are only filing a claim to get revenge, which could get your case thrown out.
What to Do Instead
The best thing to do after an accident, especially if you’re filing a compensation claim, is to stay off social media entirely until your claim concludes.
Sometimes avoiding mention of your accident isn’t enough. Insurance companies and their lawyers have previously tried to argue that when victims continue to post just as they usually would after their accidents, that it proves their mental and physical health weren’t seriously affected by their accidents.
However, because personal injury claims aren’t always wrapped up quickly, you may still want to be able to chat with friends and get updates through social media. So if you do use social media, follow these tips to reduce your risk of accidentally posting something you shouldn’t.
- Set all your social media accounts to private and do not accept any new friend requests.
- Speak privately with friends and family and request they do not post anything about you or your accident, and not to tag you in any photos.
- If possible, adjust your settings so that other users can’t comment on or share your posts.
- Avoid mentioning your settlement even after your claim is resolved. If your settlement involves a confidentiality agreement, posting about it could result in your settlement being revoked.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Call Dudley DeBosier!
If you were injured a car accident, you need Dudley DeBosier. To us, our clients aren’t just another number—they’re part of our family. We want to help you get your life back together, and we’ll do whatever it takes to get you there, including offering advice on how to protect yourself on social media while your claim is ongoing. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference! Contact us today for a free case review.