How Social Media Can Damage Your Personal Injury Case ?
If you have been injured in an accident and plan to file an injury claim, it’s a safe bet that the insurance company is watching what you do. Depending on the value of your claim, the insurance company may even have someone following you to the grocery store, the gym, and on errands. This is because insurance companies do their due diligence to investigate claims, look for fraud, and minimize payouts whenever possible. Regardless of the size of your claim, you can be certain the insurance company will follow what you do online — and use this information against you.
Your social media presence can become your greatest threat to your claim, no matter how valid it is and how injured you truly are. One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your personal injury claim is protecting your online identity and thinking twice before posting anything.
How Social Media Is Used Against You
While social media makes it easy to connect with friends and loved ones, it can also make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. During your personal injury case, you will work with your personal injury lawyer to substantiate your claim through your medical records, witness statements, and other evidence while the insurance company looks for evidence that suggests your damages aren’t as severe as you claim. If you aren’t careful, what you post on social media can be used as evidence against you.
Everything you post online can be subpoenaed and used against you in a personal injury claim, including comments you make about the person who injured you, comments and photos of your activities after the accident, and photos you have been tagged in.
As an example, consider what can happen to your case if you are claiming damages for chronic pain and an inability to enjoy the bicycling hobby you once enjoyed but you post a photo on Facebook of a recent bike ride with a friend or a comment on a friend’s picture that you look forward to riding together soon.
While this may seem obvious, the defense can also twist your social media posts to suit their case. A picture of you smiling can become “proof” that you are not suffering from depression, for example.
There are many ways the insurance company may use the evidence it finds on social media:
- Disprove the severity of your physical injuries, such as using photos of you performing physically demanding activities while claiming you can’t work
- Disproving claims of emotional distress
- Disproving claims of inability to enjoy hobbies and physical activity
- Tracking apps can be used to discredit your version of the events leading up to the accident, even if you were merely confused or mistaken about the exact moment something happened
How to Protect Yourself
It’s important to guard against this problem by setting the privacy settings on your social media accounts as restrictive as possible. Always be careful about what you post and refrain about talking about the case or even your injury online. You may even want to shut down your sites until your litigation is concluded.
An experienced New Haven personal injury attorney can help you avoid potential landmines in your injury claim while protecting your best interests. Contact Dehghani & Associates today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to review your case.