During a personal injury claim, the insurance company responsible for assessing your eligibility for benefits will not want to maximize your payout. Diminishing your injury claim is the insurance company’s main mission. One thing an insurance company may use to investigate your claim is your social media accounts. Be careful what you post, as it could be used as evidence against you.
Social Media Is Admissible Evidence
Your social media profiles are not off-limits during a personal injury claim. Even if you have your account set to private, everything you post is accessible to an investigator. This includes private messages and posts you have deleted. If an insurance company finds evidence on your social media accounts that is relevant to your case, it can submit it to the courts. Social media accounts are a form of electronic records that are considered written documents under Texas law. This makes anything you post on social media admissible as evidence in court.
How Can Posting On Social Media Hurt Your Claim?
Posting things on social media after an accident may seem harmless. After all, it is not on official record and it is used for personal reasons. Since an insurance company can use social media content as evidence against you, however, it is important to recognize the power of what you post. Many accident victims make the mistake of posting things on social media that diminish the values of their injury claims.
- Information about the case. It is natural to want to talk about your recent accident or injury on social media. Try to avoid posting any information about your case until it is over, however. An insurance company can compare what you post to the facts reported on your claim. Even a minor contradiction could ruin your reliability and hurt your chances of recovering damages.
- Photographs of you out with friends. Posting pictures out and about with your friends on Facebook or Instagram could show an insurance company that your injury is not very serious. Pictures of you enjoying normal life, such as on vacation or at a bar, will contradict your story if you are pursuing compensation for pain and suffering.
- Location check-ins. During your personal injury claim, your goal should be to show an insurance company that the accident interfered with your enjoyment of daily life. Checking in at different locations could go against your injury claim. If you claim you broke your leg, for example, checking in at the gym could show an insurance company that you are physically able to continue your daily tasks.
Insurance companies and defense lawyers will almost always check a claimant’s social media accounts for information or evidence. They will look at sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat for things to use against a client to diminish his or her payout. The best way to protect yourself during an injury claim is not to post anything on social media at all.
Social Media Dos and Don’ts During an Injury Claim
Although it may be difficult to stay off of social media while a personal injury claim is pending, this could be critical for your case. Posting or doing the wrong thing on a social media account could hurt your injury claim.
- Do: change all of your social media settings to private.
- Do not: post anything about your accident or injury.
- Do: screen your friend requests and avoid interacting with people you do not know.
- Do not: respond to any questions or comments about the accident.
- Do: warn friends not to post any photos of you.
- Do not: post new photographs or videos of yourself after your accident.
When in doubt, stay off of social media completely until your case concludes. This is the most effective way to protect your rights. For more assistance protecting yourself during a personal injury claim, hire an attorney to represent you.