In an ever-expanding world, social media allows us to stay connected to others. Whether it’s to share pictures of our kids with family, learn about current events, or find others who share similar interests, sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter can provide us with information we want or need quickly and easily.
But while social media does a lot of positive things for us, it can also have a negative impact. Just as it is incredibly easy to access information about others, it’s important to remember that it’s also easier than ever for others to access your personal information.
When involved in a car accident, hurt at work, or disabled, please remember that everything that you post online has the potential to be viewed by the other side, insurance adjustor, and/or their attorney, and might be used against you to undermine the validity of your claim.
The job of the other party’s attorney/the insurance company/adjustor/or anyone who is examining your claim, is to present evidence that can help to diminish or deny your claim. One way that they may do this is by presenting evidence from your social media accounts.
One of the common tactics that the defense may utilize is to use your social media accounts to access your pictures, your comments, or your videos that may appear to contradict your claim. Many times information and photos can be taken out of context and used against you. If the defense can show that your injuries aren’t as bad as you have claimed, it can directly impact the amount of compensation that you may be awarded, or in the case of Workers’ Compensation or Social Security Disability, it may be a factor in the denial of your claim. For instance, if you have a severe back injury from a car accident, and are making a claim for treatment for your back injury, but also post a video of you playing with your kids, that video could be accessed by and used to undermine your claim by the insurance company.
When it comes to your claim, appearance is often everything. The defense will leverage your social media to gain more information about you and have been known to distort it to their advantage.
Information shared on social media can impact your claim of physical injuries, emotional distress, and other damages you may have filed for. Pictures, words, videos, and “likes” can be used to disprove a claim if you may not appear to be injured or otherwise suffering in these posts.
It is always safe to assume that anything you post online can be seen by anyone, anywhere. While private messages cannot be accessed without consent or a warrant, anything that you post on the Internet is considered public record. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want the defense to have in its hands.
It is also important to be aware of any pictures or comments that you are “tagged” in on your friends’ profiles. Even things as seemingly innocuous as including a geo-location on your social media post can affect your claim.
Since posting or engaging in anything online after an accident can prove risky to your claim, it is in your best interest to suspend all social media usage until your claim is resolved. It is always good practice to set your profiles to private and to request that your close family and friends do the same. Finally, it is always best to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney for guidance through these complicated matters.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another person, it can result in very serious consequences. Our experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Daggett Shuler understand just what’s at stake. That’s why we want to help you to move forward. Call us at 336-724-1234.
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