In the digital age, social media has become an important part of many of our lives. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram help us stay connected, make new friends, and get tried-and-tested DIY advice. It’s also where we turn after a traumatic event, seeking safe sanctuary among our online circles. However, before you hit “post,” you need to consider the consequences of discussing the car wreck, your injuries, or personal injury claim on social media.
There is always a chance that the insurer—or another opposing party—is keeping tabs on your online activity. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to use social media posts as evidence to dispute claims. As such, every comment, review, or picture you upload could make it harder for you to obtain fair compensation for your losses.
Let’s take a look at how you can protect your claim next time you go online:
1. Do Not Post about the Accident
A car accident is often a harrowing experience, leading to feelings of stress, confusion, and sadness. As such, it’s only natural to want to reach out to loved ones for guidance, support, and to vent your frustrations. However, searching for an emotional release online could sink your chances of obtaining a fair settlement. In the digital age, it’s not uncommon for claims adjusters to monitor claimants’ social media feeds to find evidence against their claims. As such, your comments online could be misrepresented to dispute liability, causation, and damages. Ideally, you should avoid discussing the wreck, injuries, claim, expenses, social life, and treatment.
2. Check Out of the “Check Ins”
On Facebook, you have the option to “check in” whenever you arrive at a new location. It’s an easy way to let your friends and family know what you’re doing, giving them a window into your daily life. However, if you have a claim pending, these “check ins” will make it easier for the insurer to track your whereabouts. Ultimately, if your “check ins” show you going from bar to beach to backyard barbeque, the insurer might dispute the severity of your injuries. As such, you should not make use of this feature until your claim is resolved.
3. Configure Your Privacy Settings
If you have not set your social media accounts to “private”, you should do so immediately. Most accounts are set to “public” by default, granting anyone—including opposing parties—permission to view and interact with your posts. By upgrading your privacy settings, you can configure who can—and can’t—see your feed, preventing the insurer from digging through your post history.
4. Do Not Accept Connection Requests from People You Don’t Recognize
Whether you’re growing your followers, expanding your professional networks, or trying to make new friends, you may be in the habit of accepting new connection requests without a second thought. Typically, approving these unsolicited invites won’t result in anything worse than a few questionable messages.
However, while your claim is pending, accepting a connection request from someone you don’t recognize could open the door to disputes. It’s possible that someone working for the insurer or another opposing party might send you a friend or follow requests to gain access to your “private” social media account. Once accepted, he or she will have free rein to pore through your posts and pick out any comments and pictures that could be used as evidence to dispute your case. Until your claim is resolved, you should not accept any new connection requests.
5. Avoid Posting Pictures
Photos of you engaging in any activity, whether it’s dancing, spending time with your children, or tackling chores around the home, can pose a serious threat to your personal injury claim. While these memories might represent rare moments of respite amid the pain, sadness, and confusion, opposing parties can easily misrepresent these candid snapshots.
For example, the insurer might argue that you ignored your healthcare provider’s orders to rest and caused your condition to worsen. Alternatively, they may claim that your injuries can’t be as serious as you claim because you are still able to live a normal life. Not only should you abstain from uploading images of yourself until proceedings have concluded, but you should also request that your loved ones avoid tagging you in their own pictures.
Find a Car Accident Attorney in New York Today
If you were injured in a car wreck, turn to the legal team at Leitner Varughese. We represent clients in New York City, Long Island, and throughout New York state. Our personal injury lawyers can help guide you through proceedings and help you avoid mistakes that might otherwise affect the outcome of your claim. Dial 855-585-2969 or visit our Contact Page to arrange a free case review with one of our New York car accident attorneys.