Can Social Media Posts Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim? YES!
Posting lots of information about daily activities, outings, and even angry rants on social media has become a habit for many people. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the information we share isn’t always just visible to our friends, but might be available for the whole world to see. When you’re pursuing a claim for compensation after a car accident, slip and fall, or incident of medical malpractice, this information could become evidence in court, and it could result in a reduction in the amount of compensation you ultimately receive.
Posting photos from a day spent in the park, or a night on the town, might seem innocent. Even though you’re in pain from injuries received in a crash, you may still try to get yourself out of the house to connect with friends and try to heal. But insurance companies with a strong desire to pay you as little as possible for your injuries can take these posts and use them as evidence that you couldn’t possibly be as hurt as you say—maybe even that you weren’t injured at all, and are making a fraudulent claim. Even a post intended to reassure friends and loved ones that, while you were in an accident, you’re doing ok, could be twisted by insurance defense attorneys to make it appear as though you’re not hurt at all and are trying to take advantage of the insurer.
A good course of action is instead to be as guarded as possible on social media after an accident. Make your accounts private, and don’t post information about day-to-day activities as you once would have done. If someone attempts to friend or follow you, but you don’t recognize their name, do not add them. Insurance company investigators are prone to posing as a friend in order to see the things you post and use them as evidence against you. Additionally, don’t allow friends to tag you in photos or posts that could paint you in a negative light. Finally, never discuss details of your accident or any resulting claims or lawsuit in a public forum. That information should reside solely between you and your attorney.
If you are in need of legal assistance following an accident, contact the Hudson Valley’s experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Basch & Keegan for a consultation, at (845) 338-8884 in Kingston or (518) 288-5600 in Albany.