Social media is a potential minefield for personal injury plaintiffs – without taking precautions, insurance companies could “stalk” your pages, looking for ways to deny your claim. Social media and personal injury claims simply don’t mix.
Below you’ll find common mistakes plaintiffs often make on social media. Avoiding these mistakes could make the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and feeling bitterly disappointed with the outcome of your case.
Social media mistakes to avoid
One of the most significant mistakes that personal injury plaintiffs can make is posting about the incident on social media. Insurance companies and defense attorneys may monitor social media activity to gather evidence to use against the plaintiff.
Even innocent-seeming posts can be misinterpreted and used to cast doubt on the plaintiff’s account of the accident. Here are more social media behaviors to watch out for.
Posting content of you working out or engaging in physical activity
If you post a photo of yourself playing golf or performing some other physical activity, insurers could argue you’re not nearly as badly hurt as you claim.
This is especially true if you’re seen playing a sport or game requiring the use of the body part that you claim is injured. For instance, it’s going to look suspicious if you claim a serious shoulder injury and then post an Instagram picture of you playing tennis.
Even if you can still be active with an injury, that won’t keep an insurance company from using pictures on social media sites against you. It’s best to just keep the photo to yourself for now.
Sharing information about your medical condition
Posting about symptoms, treatments, or medical appointments can be used to question the severity of your injuries.
Additionally, posts about your recovery can be used to suggest that you’re recovering faster than you should. This could create the impression that you’re stretching the truth regarding the extent of the injury.
Discussing your case with others
Even innocent comments can be misinterpreted and used against you. For example, you might post about how your lawyer is “aggressive” or “fighting hard” for you. This could be used to suggest you’re not interested in a fair settlement – you’re only looking for a big payout.
Failing to adjust privacy settings
Even if you’re careful about what you post, your friends or family members may share or say something that could accidentally harm your case. By adjusting your privacy settings, you can limit the number of people who can see or comment on your posts. Doing so can reduce the risk of inadvertently providing evidence to the other side.
Please don’t make these mistakes
On one hand, social media is an excellent way to keep in touch with loved ones, stay up-to-date with news, and build an online presence. It can also become a huge problem if you’re involved in a personal injury case.
Exercise caution when posting anything on social media, even if it seems harmless. It’s important to be mindful of what’s posted, who can see it, and how it could be used against you. A good rule of thumb is to assume that anything posted on social media can be seen by the other side.
You should also be aware that the other side may try to connect with you on social media. This could be an insurance adjuster, defense attorney, or even a private investigator. Always be cautious about accepting friend requests or connections from people you do not know.
Take a brief break from social media
The safest thing to do is to consider taking a break from social media altogether during your case. This can eliminate the risk of posting something that could harm your chances of obtaining compensation, allowing you to focus on your recovery and legal proceedings.
If you choose to remain active on social media, please consult with your lawyer about what is and isn’t safe to post.
Also, remember that social media isn’t the only way that the other side can gather evidence against you. They may also conduct surveillance, interview witnesses, or request medical records. It’s just that social media can be a particularly easy source of evidence as it’s public and accessible on any device.
Our attorneys are ready to tell you more
The attorneys with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can give you more information on the potential risks involving social media and personal injury claims. Get in touch today by calling (561) 655-1990 or contacting us online.