Social media is a part of almost everybody’s life. More people are posting pictures, commenting, and liking on a daily basis! As many of us know, what we post on the internet is not always private. It com
es as no shock that all sorts of companies are tracking our daily movements on such social media sites as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and MySpace; and for many of us, we use all of them!
Companies use such information as our likes, tags, and other such items to market advertising, notice trends, monitor our internet activities, and more so now some companies are using this information against you.
Even with the highest security settings on your social media accounts, it is possible that pictures of you and what you may be doing, can still be available for many people to see whether you like it or not. If you would like to see for yourself, try “Google Searching” your name just to see what comes up. You may be surprised with how much of your life is available for just anyone to see. In addition, you may be surprised that insurance agencies are using these same tactics to possibly discredit your claim by finding information or photographs that could put you in a bad light or present you as something that you aren’t. Being able to recognize what and how insurance companies are getting this information can help your claim or and hopefully get you the compensation that you are seeking. Whether you have been injured or not, it is important to be aware of what to avoid when posting things to your social media sites.
Insurance Companies’ Tactics
1. Pretend to be someone they aren’t
Often times there can be someone posing to be someone that they are not, causing you to accept their friend request, subsequently allowing them full access to your personal information. Insurance investigators are using this technique to get you to put your guard down and allow them to see things that they normally would not be able to.
2. Searching the internet for anything and everything
Insurance companies are now hiring investigators that their only job is to find discrediting information on the people that are filing claims against them. It is not new for such things to happen; however, with social media, investigators are finding a lot more information a lot faster.
3. Taking things out of context
The main point here is that anything can be taken out of context. A simple post or picture can paint you in a bad light or even worse, a liar which will quickly hurt your case.
What Insurance Companies Are Using Against You
As mentioned already, the internet is not the most secure place. Once a photo is put on the internet it is virtually impossible to keep that photo 100% private. The photo may be shared or on another person’s page or taken even further. For example, pictures of you drinking at a party with all your friends and possibly even dancing in the car can seem harmless until you were hurt in a car accident and are now seeking compensation. Insurance companies will look for any reason to not pay you what you may deserve, this includes looking for anything that may discredit your reputation or paint you in a bad light. Pictures can be taken out of context and one picture of you partying can ruin your case if you say that you are not a party person.
Another thing to be mindful about with pictures is that even though you may not post pictures, your friend or family members could post an incriminating picture of you and since you only have control over your own personal security settings, these pictures could be available for anyone to see without your permission or knowledge of its existence.
Like pictures, things you say can also be taken out of context. Saying that you went dancing while filing a claim that your back is seriously injured could quickly get your claim denied. However, the post could have been talking about something you did a week before the accident and wasn’t posted until after the accident. The post could be very discrediting and as said, end your claim.
As previously mentioned, companies and insurance companies alike are tracking your likes and other things to gain more information about you. Liking “texting”, “drinking”, “driving”, or “fast cars” can paint a picture that you weren’t necessarily trying to paint. Insurance companies can use these likes to show that you potentially aren’t safe or aren’t a responsible person, when that may not be the truth.
Being conscious of what you post and what you like because being honest and conscious of insurance companies activities can potentially save your case. Social media can present a slanted or misleading picture of someone’s life. For example, people often post about the good things that are happening in their life. Sure there are a few that post their everyday mundane activities or what their child did that day but you hardly see pictures or posts of someone injured or how they are laid up on the couch and depressed because of their injury.
Before social media, conversations could be held in a private rooms and any information that could have been said, would be titled hearsay and couldn’t be used against you. However, when these posts are published to the internet with the possibly of never fully being able to delete, can most definitely be used against you if put in the wrong hands or taken out of context.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are using these tactics and these things to embarrass, harass, and scare you out of your deserved insurance claim for an accident that was not your fault. The answer to the main question is most definitely yes, social media can in fact hurt your case if your information or photos could make you out to be someone that you aren’t.
Tell Your Attorney Everything
Being honest and open with your attorney is the best idea. Making sure that your story to your attorney matches the story that is painted on your social media accounts . If you lie, your case could be damaged and potentially crushed based on what you say or post online. Attorneys are looking for the best resolution for you and to be able to do that your attorney needs all of the information. Posting something online contrary to what you told your attorney will most likely be used against you by the insurance company. Making sure that there are no misunderstandings in regards to your claim, could tremendously help you win the case.
The most important thing to remember is that whatever you post on the internet is not always secure or private as you may hope it is. Check your security settings and make sure your friends and family know to not post any incriminating pictures of you that could make you out to be someone you are not. Social media can be used for many good things but employers, advertising agencies, and insurance companies are using what you post to get an idea of who you are, whether it be true or not, be careful what you post. Before posting any information or pictures, think about how they might be perceived by someone who is skeptical about your injuries. Remember anything that you say or do can be used against you in your case and putting this information on your social media sites, gives insurance companies a quick and easy way to use such information against you.
Hire an Attorney to Help You
Christensen & Hymas specializes in personal injury cases and can help protect you if insurance companies try to use what you have posted on the internet against you. Being able to recognize what insurance companies are using and how they are getting this information can help you when looking for compensation from an accident that was caused by another’s recklessness and negligence. Call today for a free consultation at (801)506-0800.