To say social media has become a pillar of modern life would be an understatement. In 2020, more than 3.6 billion people used social media, and researchers expect that figure to exceed 4.4 billion by 2025.
Regardless of whether your favorite platform is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, chances are you turn to your friends and followers online for support, advice, and encouragement. If you’re planning on filing a personal injury claim, though, it’s wise to think twice about what you post on social media.
Insurance adjusters look for reasons to challenge a claimant’s credibility. Unfortunately, your social media posting may give them what the need. In other words, depending on what you post and how it could be interpreted, your online activity could end up jeopardizing the strength of your claim.
Here are the three biggest ways social media can threaten your case:
1. Regarding the Facts of the Case
If you post anything about the incident that turns out to be untrue, it could hurt your integrity in the eyes of the carrier. Even something as seemingly innocuous as sharing a link to a news story from a reputable publication could be considered a commentary on what happened, and if any of the details in the article end up being inaccurate, it’s going to reflect poorly on you.
2. Regarding the Severity of Your Injuries
Posting about travel, recreational activities and participating in sports could be misconstrued by the insurance adjuster and ultimately used against you. If you claim your injuries are hurting your quality of life, they may try to use any such content to justify their assumption that you’re exaggerating the severity of your condition.
3. Regarding Purchases and Celebrations
It’s not uncommon for accident victims to make fairly large purchases while recovering from their injuries. If you were driving your car when the incident occurred, for example, you may need to replace your vehicle promptly. It’s advisable, however, to avoid posting about such major purchases. In addition, you should avoid posting about any celebrations that you attend after your injuries.
Just as content about your social life could lead the insurance adjuster to challenge your injuries, posts about your financial situation could cause them to question the true extent of the damages you claim.
How Can I Protect Myself Online While My Case Is Pending?
Personal injury lawyers typically instruct clients to disable their social media accounts until their claims have been resolved. When that’s not an option, you can reduce the risk of jeopardizing your case by taking the following steps:
- Avoid posting about the incident, your recovery, or your social life.
- Enable the strictest privacy settings on your accounts; and
- Screen all new friend/follow requests, and deny those from strangers.
This information is provided to you by Weiner, Spivey & Miller, PLC. Founded in 2000, our firm is backed by nearly two centuries of collective experience in the legal field. To set up your free initial consultation with an attorney, complete our Contact Form or call 703-273-9500.