Social media can often have a negative impact — especially when it comes to a personal injury claim. While social media allows us to share life news, exchange family pictures, and keep up with friends and loved ones, it also provides opportunities for embarrassment and self-harm. Many a potential job has been lost to party pictures that prospective employees posted on Facebook.
Oversharing can also damage your injury claim after an accident. To learn more about injury claims, contact Petro Law Firm today to speak to an experienced injury lawyer today.
Be Careful About What You Post
After sustaining injuries in an accident, be very careful about what you post on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, if you expect to file a claim with insurance or sue for injury. It’s too easy to release the wrong information, or information that may hurt you during litigation. Rather than post willy nilly, you’re better served if you consult with an experienced local attorney first. Let them advise you on what information you can safely release — and what should remain private.
The Insurance Can Use Your Social Media Posts Against You
Today’s insurance companies are very aware of social media, as well as its potential for saving them money. In an era when people put everything online, an adversary’s social sites are the first places researchers check for information. Posting photos or videos of your injuries, describing them, or making specific claims can hurt you. Worse, information or images that seem to counter your claims can be used against you in court to force you to accept a smaller claim — or no claim at all. It’s no wonder that Facebook and Twitter get a good scouring by the enemy, and heaven help you if you post photo stories to Snapchat. The other guys will do their best to find evidence you’re faking or exaggerating your injuries.
If you’ve injured a foot, don’t discuss that mile-walk you just finished or the number of steps on your FitBit for the day. If you’ve hurt your back, it’s not a good idea to play soccer and then post pictures of it. The insurance company can use any appearance of health against you. Whether the insurance company is another driver’s, a litigant in a store injury claim, or the government, they will not hesitate to use social media evidence against you. If you have an injury claim pending, don’t try to be strong and not act injured. Be logical and realistic.
All of Your Posts Can Be Considered Public
Everything you post on a public venue is, well, public — meaning that anyone can use anything you post for or against you. There’s no reasonable assumption of privacy, as there might be with a personal journal. With a little forethought, that should be obvious… but the way we use social media today, often as bulletin boards for friends and family, makes that easy to forget. But you have to remember: once something’s online, it never goes away. Ignore this, and your own words or images may be used against you in your case — no matter how you set your privacy settings, even if your Facebook page is meant only for friends and family.
Just as bad, an insurance company may look for posts you’re tagged in on other people’s social media sites. During the discovery process, they can also make a reasonable demand to see your private social posts, ones otherwise hidden from most people. One way or another, the opposing insurance company will obtain the data they think they need. That means you need to take extra precautions not to accidentally shoot your claim in the foot — so to speak.
You May Want to Shut Down Your Accounts
After your injury, your best option is to stop posting altogether. You may even want to close your social media accounts until after the case is complete. If you can’t or don’t want to, simply don’t post anything about your injury. Don’t post details of your treatment. Don’t post what you’ve discussed with your lawyer or anyone else about your case. And don’t post any information regarding fault — and no photos of any kind.
We Can Help You With Your Injury Claim
Injured in an accident in the Birmingham area? Contact an injury lawyer at Petro Law Firm. We can advise you on all aspects of your injury claim, including how to handle your social media in the interim.
Call us before you post about your injury on social media. Don’t let a casual social post torpedo your personal injury claim.