Social media is often used on a daily basis by people to connect with others across the world and to inform others of what is going on in their day-to-day lives, such as new relationships, recent breakups, and even recent auto accidents. Unfortunately, if you are pursuing a legal claim against another party, anything that you post online can potentially be used against you. Therefore, it is crucial that you be familiar with how social media can negatively impact your personal injury claim and how you can protect yourself.
How Social Media Can Affect Your Claim
After you have been an accident, you will be dealing with the insurance company—or more specifically, an insurance adjuster who works for the insurance company. His or her job is to do whatever he or she needs to show that you were at-fault for the accident and to ultimately prove that you are either making up your injuries or that your injuries aren't nearly as bad as you are making them out to be.
In the day of social media, the insurance adjuster will use social media to his or her advantage to prove his or her theories. Therefore, the insurance adjuster will be on the lookout for any of the following.
Pictures – The insurance adjuster will look for pictures that put you in a compromising situation, such as partying or dancing—something that you might not should be doing if you were truly injured. Keep in mind that a picture can often be used out of context, and the picture may not even be what it seems.
Videos – He or she will also be looking for videos that show you acting normal and be used against you to undermine your alleged injuries and your level of pain that you are claiming. Videos can often be used to say that you're exaggerating your accident-related injuries.
Comments – The insurance adjuster may look into post and comments made on your social media profiles to see if you have posted anything related to your case in order to gain insider information. In addition, he or she will look to see if you have any preexisting injuries that he or she may be able to link your current injuries to.
How You Can Protect Yourself on Social Media
When you have a pending legal claim, the best thing you can do is avoid using social media completely. However, some people use social media to stay in touch with friends and family that live across the country, so they don't want to do this. If this is you, then here are a few things you can do to protect yourself until the lawsuit is over.
Change Your Privacy Settings – Though this is not a fail-safe plan in any way, you should change your privacy settings so that only your family and friends are able to find and view your social media profile.
Watch What You Post – Prior to making any of your posts public, think about what you are posting. Consider how an insurance adjuster could use the post against you. Don't say anything about your legal claim online, and try to avoid posting any pictures or videos online during this time.
Request Privacy from Friends and Family – In addition to you being more private, you also need your family and friends to be private as well. Ask them to avoid posting anything about the accident and legal claim online, as the insurance adjuster can seek information from their social media profiles as well.
For more information, talk to a personal injury attorney.