Social media is how we keep up with friends and family, stay informed, and share what we’ve been thinking and doing lately. So it makes sense that when you experience a major life event like a serious and unexpected injury, you will probably want to share it to your social accounts.
Don’t do it!
If you need to file a compensation claim to pay your expenses after an accident, posting about your accident on social media can seriously hurt your chances of getting the full amount of compensation you need.
Why is this? The insurance company will be doing its best to discredit the seriousness of your injuries so they can justify paying you less. Deliberately misinterpreting what you post online could help them do this.
What Type of Social Posts Hurt Your Claim?
Your posts and comments can be used against you in a number of ways. For example:
- Accidental admissions of fault such as “I didn’t see them until it was too late” or “I should have been paying more attention.”
- Statements that minimize your injuries such as “I’m okay” or “It could have been worse.”
- Posts that contradict your statements to the police or insurance company – accidents are chaotic, and it’s easy to misspeak or misremember, but the insurance company will point to contradictions as evidence that you “made it up.”
- Statements that present information you aren’t sure about as fact, such as “they must have been going at least 50 MPH.”
- Angry statements about the at-fault party or insurance company that could cause the jury to believe you are filing out of revenge or spite rather than an actual need.
Even posts that seemingly have nothing to do with your accident could be used against you. For example, if you post “I’ve been pulling a lot of late nights at the office recently,” the insurance company might argue you contributed to your own accident by driving drowsy.
Your photos could also be used against you by misrepresenting your mental and physical health. For example, if you post a photo of yourself out with friends, the insurance company could argue your injuries aren’t serious, or they would prevent you from going out. Even a photo of you smiling could be used to argue your pain and suffering aren’t serious.
This also applies to the social media accounts of friends and family, which the insurance company may be monitoring for information about your accident.
How to Protect Yourself on Social Media During an Injury Claim
The only fool-proof method to prevent your social media posts from being used against you by the insurance company is not to post at all.
If you are filing a personal injury claim, take these steps:
- Set all your social media accounts to private and don’t accept any new friend or follower requests, especially if you don’t know them.
- If possible, adjust your settings to prevent friends or followers from sharing or commenting on your posts.
- Ask friends and family not to post about you or your accident, or to post pictures of you, until after your claim is resolved.
- Even after your claim is resolved, continue to avoid posting about your accident, especially if you signed a confidentiality clause as part of the settlement.
Gary Bruce Has Your Back After an Accident
After a crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you want a lawyer who can take care of all the details so you can relax and focus on your recovery. But more importantly, you need a lawyer who is looking out for you in all the ways, including advising you on what you need to know to avoid harming your case.