When Pursuing an Injury Claim, Be Careful What You Post to Facebook
These days, the internet has effectively worked its way into nearly every aspect of our lives, most notably our social lives. People use social media in order to stay up to date with important events in the lives of their friends and loved ones, to share their thoughts and feelings, and for support during hard times. In the moments after an accident resulting in severe injury, may people will reach for their phone to post an update to their Facebook or Twitter accounts. This serves to either reassure family members or to connect with friends while they are unable to connect due to their injuries. Sadly, going through with this instinct can be potentially risky if you’re seeking compensation for your damages by pursuing a personal injury claim.
Social Media Can Be Used to Limit Your Compensation
Insurance providers essentially earn profits by taking in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. To achieve that end, these companies will employ insurance adjusters whose primary role is to find justifications to avoid, whenever possible, paying injury claims just like yours. One of the first things an adjuster will do to accomplish this goal is to examine your social media accounts. Certain insurance companies hire a service to search the internet to find anything posted by you or about you, both before and after the time of the accident. Did you reassure your Facebook friends that you were fine after an accident? That may make it seem that your injuries weren’t that severe. Were you tagged in a photo in which you are having a good time or smiling with friends? You mustn’t be in serious pain if that’s the case. These may be far from accurate portrayals, but they could be persuasive enough to a jury.
Be Careful How You Communicate
Regarding social media use after being involved in a car accident, it’s in your best interest to avoid making any posts entirely. If you want to let a loved one know how you’re doing, a quick phone call or even an email will be enough, but they’re less exploitable by an insurance company. If you find yourself unable to stay off social media during the span of your accident case, you should set your privacy settings to “friends only” or a similar security setting. Setting your privacy settings can help make sure that people who you don’t want to see your posts are unable to do so. You shouldn’t accept any friend or follow requests from the insurance adjuster. All intersections should be completely professional, and the adjuster has no business attempting to connect with you on social media. Even if the adjuster claims that he or she is just concerned about your recovery or interests in establishing a friendly working relationship, you shouldn’t fall for it. At the same time, don’t accept any friend requests from strangers while pursuing a claim. Adjusters or law firms representing their defendants may create fake profiles in order to gain access to restricted posts.
Pictures Can Negatively Impact Your Injury Claim
We all try to make ourselves look our best in pictures. This is true even after being injured in a severe collision. Of course, we don’t want the pain of suffering to be a part of our happy memories in the future. For those reasons, you may hide a cane or crutches out of frame, cover a cast with a jacket or blanket, or put on a smile despite consistent aches and pains. However, if an insurance adjuster is prowling your Facebook page for any potential evidence and locates these photos, he or she can make the claim that you were in good spirits and discount the severity of your injuries. The adjuster may conclude that your injuries aren’t causing you much pain and aren’t stopping you from living your everyday life.
Even pictures from events before the accident can be potentially used against your case. An adjuster just needs to neglect when these events happened or mislead others to think that they happened after your injuries. If you use the time during your recovery to go through photos and post them to Facebook, the adjuster may see pictures from last summer’s camping trip and believe it’s a recent event. This can lead to a denial of your claim. This can potentially happen when your friends post pictures, as well. Be mindful of pictures you are tagged in during your injury claim.
Stay Off Social Media After a Crash
Particularly, it’s crucial to maintain any discussion of your accident case off of social media. Avoid talking about the circumstances of the incident, your medical appointments, or discussions with your lawyer. You should avoid talking about any part of the insurance claim process. Don’t discuss what you’re being told by your lawyer, other than perhaps you won’t be on social media for some time. You shouldn’t rant or complain about the insurance adjuster or insurance provider when pursuing an accident claim. Don’t boast about the value of your potential settlement, even after your case has come to a close. The last thing you should remember is that the internet never forgets. Even if you delete a post or tweet, there’s a chance that your adjuster has already taken a screenshot to use it against you later. The safest course of action is to keep your thoughts offline and advise your friends and family to do the same.
Car Accidents in New Jersey
If you or a loved one is involved in a serious crash, the resulting damages can be overwhelming. Many victims are unsure of what to do next to protect their legal rights. An experienced New Jersey car crash attorney can help injured victims and their families recover lost compensation.
Since 1965, Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC has provided reliable, result-driven legal services to New Jersey residents. Personal injury law is broad, involving an array of different accidents, and each comes with its own unique rules and limitations. Contact our offices today at (201) 997- 0030 to discuss your case.