Social Media Can Hurt Your Injury Claim
These days, social media is everywhere. Most people have some sort of social media account, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, or MySpace. Many people don't realize it, but the social media sites they use every day can hurt a pending personal injury claim. The fact is, insurance adjusters or defense attorneys will use anything they can to deny or discredit a claim. You might not think an adjuster will find his or her way onto your Facebook page, but it happens all the time..
You might be thinking, "So what if an insurance adjuster does find my Twitter, Facebook or MySpace account? There's nothing on there that can be used to incriminate me." Unfortunately, almost anything can be used by the opposing party to make you look bad. If you write messages about how you are hoping for a large monetary settlement, for example, or even about how you are doing poorly financially, that can be turned around to make it look like you're only pursuing an injury claim for the money.
If you post photos of yourself involved in any kind of physical activities, it will undermine your claim that you were severely injured. Even photos of you smiling and enjoying yourself on trips or special occasions disputes that you experienced a great deal of pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of your lifestyle during your treatment and recovery. Photos that appear to show you out having a good time and drinking can be used to bring your character into question. You don't even have to be the one posting the photos; sometimes you may not even realize that a friend has posted a photo with you in it.
Most social media sites have adjustable privacy settings. Don't be fooled, however. If an insurance adjuster or defense attorney wants to see your social media content, he or she can find a way to do so. If you have your messages or photos set as private and only your approved friends can see them, another person can pretend to know you to gain access to your page. Even if you change your privacy settings, it is still possible to access the content that was put up before the change. You should remember that anything you put on the internet has the potential to be found by anyone at any time.
So how can you protect yourself? I recommend that anyone actively pursuing an injury claim abstain from using social media. However, many people can't or won't give up their social media sites. If you do continue to put information about yourself online, be sure to follow a few simple rules. Never discuss your accident or your claim, period. It doesn't matter what you say about it. You never know when something can be misconstrued and used against you. Don't put up any new photos of yourself, and ask your friends not to post any photos of you either. Even if it seems harmless, an insurance adjuster or defense attorney could use your photos to hurt your claim.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ty Wilson
Ty Wilson is a Georgia personal injury lawyer with offices in Atlanta and Savannah. He provides a great deal of free information to the public on the topic of personal injury in the form of free books, reports, articles, blogs, and videos. He encourages anyone who has been injured or who has a family member who has been injured to first check out his free information BEFORE hiring a lawyer, speaking to an insurance company, or signing any forms.
Copyright L. Ty Wilson, PC
More information about L. Ty Wilson, PC
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.