When you file a claim for compensation after a personal injury accident, you want to have as strong of a case as possible. This increases the likelihood that you will receive what you are owed in settlement of your claim. One way to help your case is by not posting on your social media sites.
Why Posting to Social Media Sites Can Hurt Your Claim
The majority of people own cellphones, tablets and computers, and many use social media sites to keep in touch with family and friends. While this is common behavior under normal circumstances, posting on social media can be a bad idea when you are negotiating a personal injury accident settlement. Common sites that you may use that could be used against you when settling your claim include:
- Google +
As part of their investigation of your claim, an insurance adjuster or attorney for the negligent business or property owner will most likely search your social media sites at various times during the resolution of your claim. Here is how the information they discover can hurt your settlement:
- Damaging photographs. You could post pictures on social media sites of the accident, your injuries, or innocent actions you are engaging in that can contradict what you said when filing your claim, making it look like you are less injured than you are. For example, if you post a picture of yourself at a water park, the insurance company could argue that you are engaging in activities you claim you could not do. This is true even if you just went to a family member’s birthday party.
- Inconsistent statements. You could make inconsistent statements about the accident or your injuries when updating friends and family on your social media sites. An insurance adjuster could use this information to deny or reduce your claim. Even innocent, common statements about being thankful no one was hurt worse or that you are sorry the accident happened could be interpreted as an admission of guilt or incriminating in some way.
- Family and friend posts. It is not just your own posts that can hurt you. If a friend or family member tags you in a photo or posts about you in a way that says something about the accident or your injuries, the insurance company could discover it and use it against you in your case. You should not let friends post about you or tag you while your claim is pending.
- Location information. The insurance adjuster or the attorney may be able to determine your location information. Just like pictures, this information can be used in a negative way to show that you were engaging in activities you should not be able to do.
Tips for Posting on Social Media During The Accident Claim Process
Ideally, you should not post on social media at all until your personal injury claim is resolved. However, if you are like many people, this may not be something you can realistically do. If you must use your social media sites, our personal injury lawyers suggest following these guidelines:
- Do not post any comments or pictures about your accident or injuries.
- Change your personal settings so that others cannot tag you in their posts.
- Change your privacy settings so that only close friends and family will have access to your posts. However, keep in mind that these posts are most likely discoverable by an attorney if you must litigate your claim. Be careful what you say and show to others.
- Refrain from posting about your health, your activities, your vacation and how you are feeling on a particular day.
- Do not friend anyone that you do not know. An insurance adjuster or attorney may try to friend you to gain additional information about you from your posts.