Social media has transformed the way people interact with one another. We use Facebook to share personal milestones and tweet our happiness and anger for anyone to see. While these social networks have huge advantages when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family, they also expose us to the danger of oversharing.
When you reveal too much about yourself, the outcome could be far from what you intended, especially when it comes to personal injury cases. Say the wrong thing or post the wrong photo, and the compensation you receive could be far less than what you need and really deserve.
In 2015, the Huffington Post published an article titled Do Insurance Companies Look at Your Social Media Profiles?. It practically confirmed that anything a personal injury claimant says or does online can be used to dispute their claim later. You might not think an insurance adjuster or defense attorney will go to the extent of accessing your Twitter feed or Facebook page, but it happens all the time.
Examples of social media activity that can potentially undermine your personal injury claim include:
- Pictures and videos of you doing yard work, dancing, and engaging in other activities that bely the alleged severity of your injuries
- Tweets or Facebook status updates announcing your participation in activities that would normally be contraindicated by your injuries or treatment plan.
- Posts suggesting or admitting that you may have been partially to blame for your accident or even completely at fault
- Photos of you partying the same night that you were involved in an automobile accident
Even “liking” certain types of pages (i.e. support group for alcoholics or those with chronic back pain) can be held up as proof that you had a preexisting condition that contributed to or exaggerated your injuries and are therefore entitled to a lower settlement.
Until your case is settled, be cautious where social media use is concerned. For example:
- Don’t accept Facebook friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Don’t discuss your claim on any of your social media outlets
- Use email instead of Facebook or Instagram to share photos with friends
- Untag yourself from anyone else’s photos of you if they are potentially damaging to your case
If you are in doubt about proper use of social media after your accident or even have concerns about posts you made or pages you liked before it happened, then speak to your personal injury attorney. They can advise you on what comments or behaviors could put your claim at risk and help you put past ones in the proper perspective if they come back to haunt you later. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York personal injury and accident attorney. If you have questions after an injury, then call his office at 718-329-9500. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more.