The Importance of Social Media Silence During a Claim
Sharing photos and life updates to social media is almost second nature, but posting about a car accident or slip and fall might be a fatal mistake. Insurance companies will find every excuse to minimize your claim or deny you coverage after an accident, including using your social media posts against you. Everything from check-in to a local club on Facebook to a tweet about your physical therapy sessions can all have a major impact on your claim.
Why Oversharing Can Be Dangerous
After an accident, it is best to avoid discussing your injuries or the nature of your accident with anyone besides the local authorities, your doctor, and your attorney. We understand that you want to assure your friends and family that you are okay and are making a speedy recovery, but the intricate details of your case should remain private. Sadly, very little information we share on social media is private, and insurance companies often launch in-depth investigations into every accident claim they receive. This means that an investigator could be combing through your social media posts to find evidence against you.
Investigators typically look for any sign that you are downplaying your injuries or overexaggerating the trauma you suffered. While you know how bad your injuries were, social media posts can easily be misinterpreted. We’re all used to casually laughing about life events online and saying we’re fine when we are not. But insurance companies do not care about the context of your posts; they only care about minimizing the amount of money they have to pay you. And if they can use your social media accounts against you, they will.
That is why The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV advises anyone who has been in an accident to avoid posting car accident photos at all costs. These photos should only be reviewed by your attorney and accident experts, as they may contain key information about your claim. Even casually sharing accident photos can be misconstrued by the insurance company as you making light of your injuries. If you can take photos after your accident or can have a witness do so for you if you need medical attention, keep those images in a private folder on your phone or computer and only share it with your attorney.
In addition, it is not uncommon for accident victims to slip up and minimize their injuries in a social media post. Even responding to a “Are you okay??!!” from your mother on Facebook with “I’m fine” can be misconstrued by an insurance company. They may argue that you are overexaggerating your injuries and try to deny you damages based on a single post.
Another issue that can put you in hot water is sharing your location on Instagram or checking in to a business on Facebook. For example, let’s say that while you were recovering from a slip and fall, your friends took you out for dinner. If you check into a bar, club, or even a bowling alley, the insurance company’s investigator may be able to screenshot that post. When it comes time to negotiate your claim, the insurance company may cite these screenshots and argue that you are obviously well enough to go out and party and do not need long-term treatment. Even if you just casually chatted with friends at a bar, the insurance company will try to downplay your injuries.
How to Protect Your Claim
The best advice we can give you is to go on a social media hiatus. Almost every social media platform allows you to set your account to private or temporarily deactivate it so it will not show up in search results. This is an easy and effective way to protect your privacy during your claim, but it may not be foolproof.
When reviewing your claim, insurance adjusters may not only investigate your account, but your friends’ and family’s accounts. This means that any photo your friends post featuring you can also come up in your claim. While it may seem a bit much, you may have to inform your friends and family that you do not want anyone posting about you during your claim. Simply explain to them what we’ve told you here (or even share this blog with them) and let them know how their posts can affect your claim.
Most of all, if you have been in an accident that was someone else’s fault, reach out to a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV can quickly start investigating your claim and collecting evidence so that you have the strongest case possible. We can explain to you the entire claims process in a free consultation and break down the steps you need to take to get the most out of your claim.
Even if the insurance company does try and use social media against you, we are prepared to fight back and discredit all of their arguments. Our lead attorney is a nationally recognized trial attorney and knows how to effectively present a case to an insurance company or jury so that our clients get the best legal representation possible. To get started on your claim, call our office at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569.