News Article
5.24.2018
Why Social Media Can Negatively Affect Your Personal Injury Claim
In today's world, most of us don't think twice about broadcasting our lives across various social media platforms. Like any city, Tucson is no different. Many of us share posts without considering the unforeseen impact it could have in the future. This is particularly relevant if you have a pending personal injury claim. Be aware that insurance adjusters often investigate your social media history and it could play a major role in potentially discrediting you.
Due to the sizeable role social media plays in today's society, the courts have now acknowledged this as a source of "admissible evidence" and unsurprisingly, such posts are frequently detrimental to a case. To avoid your social media posts being used against you, follow these simple steps:
Do Not Post Information Regarding Your Case
Most people assume that what they post online falls under the category of personal privacy. However, according to the courts, social media activity is a matter of public record. The most important thing to remember is to refrain from posting ANYTHING about your case or accident. This is the best possible way to ensure that nothing can be used against you. While it is natural to want to message friends and family, or tweet about your injuries, this is inadvisable. You may not yet know the extent of your injuries and your initial assessment may contradict your doctor's diagnosis. Auto accidents often cause delayed onset injuries and it is not uncommon for hours or days to pass before you feel pain or discomfort. For example, if you post, "Just been in a car accident. I am okay, just a bump to the head," then later find out you have a concussion and whiplash, an insurance adjuster may use your initial post to support a denial of your accident claim.
Think Before You Post
Most of us are used to sharing posts about our daily lives on social media. While involved in a personal injury claim, you should refrain from posting pictures of physical activity and apparent happiness as these may undermine your claim. If insurance companies can find anything to use against you, they will. Like any business, insurance companies want to maximize profits. One of the ways they accomplish this is by decreasing the amount of money they pay for damages caused in an accident. In addition, it is advisable not to check in' to places and events as this may lower the value of your claim.
What To Do If You Have Already Posted Something
Do not delete anything. Destruction of potential evidence can create even bigger issues and may constitute "spoliation." This occurs when you destroy anything you know would be relevant to your case. The best thing you can do is increase the privacy settings on your social media profiles. By putting your profile on private you can limit the number of people who can see your posts. It is also recommended that you do not accept friend requests from anyone you do not know. It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to create fictitious Facebook profiles in order to access your posts. Additionally, you can also adjust your settings so that other users' posts must be approved or denied by you if you are mentioned or tagged in them. It is very important to consider every aspect of your online identity when processing a personal injury claim; more so now than ever before. Be cautious and assume everything you post online is going to be used as an exhibit against you.
If you or a loved one have been injured, don't fight the insurance company alone. For a free consultation regarding a personal injury claim, contact us at Grabb & Durando at 520-333-3333 or complete our our a contact form.
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