Social Media has transformed the way in which family, friends, businesses, organizations, and society at large interact with each other. While these media make it easy to share all the details of our lives, they also invite new means of exposure and vulnerability. When you are physically, emotionally, and even financially vulnerable from a recent injury, it is important to understand the ways in which you can defend yourself from losing the reparation you deserve.
How Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) states that:
“Some companies monitor social media sites for posts that indicate a fraudulent claim, such as a claimant is participating in activities that are beyond the restrictions placed by the treating physician.”
In other words, anything that you post on your social media profile is free game for your insurance adjuster to use. Of course, an insurance company will try to look for fraud, but it is in the company’s interest to seek the minimum necessary payment. If an adjuster can reduce the company bill, they will not hesitate to take advantage of an opportunity. Unfortunately, this can lead to a misrepresentation of the claimant’s true need through the misinterpretation of images, videos, and even status updates.
Do “Private Settings” Make a Difference for my Personal Injury Claim?
It can help, but don’t count on it. Privacy settings do create another obstacle for viewers to hurdle, but they can be bypassed on some social media sites. In addition to becoming a “friend of a friend” to bypass some privacy settings, websites like stalkbook.org show us that privacy does not truly exist on any web-based media profiles. Also, if your case goes to court, the judge may even deem it necessary for you to produce social media pages. All of these will not necessarily happen to you in the course of pursuing a personal injury claim, nevertheless it is safe to follow attorney Kenneth L. Christensen’s advice:
“Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable having your insurance adjuster read.”
This may include removing tagged photos that you are not comfortable with.
What Should I Look Out for?
In the case of personal injury, an insurance adjuster will be looking for ways to diminish or eliminate your claim. Even a quick comment or a seemingly innocuous picture in which you’re tagged can be used against you in your claim if it appears to be contrary to what your physician has deemed necessary. This emphasizes the importance of following the restrictions of activity set by your doctor, but it also means that you should be careful of how a photo may appear to a critical eye.
Another thing to keep in mind is how the comments, videos, and images that you post on your social media account can shift not only the existence or magnitude of your injury but the cause of your injury as well. Adjusters will look for alternative incidences to explain your injury, and, if the opportunity presents itself on your social media page, they will take it. This can include occurrences that are both previous to and after the time that you received your injury.
Can Social Media Can Help Your Personal Injury Claim?
Of course. The collection of comments, pictures, and videos on a social media profile can become a support or even an archive—depending on how avidly you post—of how an injury has affected your quality of life, financial state of being, and work opportunity. If you are being honest, being clear, and exercising common sense while updating your social media accounts, then chances are that you will be safe from an adjuster seeing your claim as fraudulent on the grounds of what you post.
In this vulnerable state of being, it is wise to know the resources available to you and all of the ways to defend your right to compensation for your injury at another’s fault or negligence. Christensen & Hymas offers free books at utahaccidentbooks.com to serve as a resource to those who are in the unfortunate and distressing state of coping with an injury. If you are interested in this valuable advice from experienced lawyers, click on the links below to order a free copy today:
- 7 Biggest Mistakes that Can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case
- Utah Bicycle Accident Handbook
- Utah Dog Bite & Attack Handbook
If you or someone close to you has been injured due to another’s negligence and are wondering if a personal injury attorney is right for your unique situation, please do not hesitate to schedule a free, initial consultation. Our lawyers are experienced in their field and concerned with helping you find the right path for you.