How social media can affect your personal injury claim.
If you have been injured in an accident and you intend to make a claim with an insurance company, you better realize that the insurance companies are watching you! Social networking and social media have changed the landscape of private surveillance. Insurance companies now have access to a wide range of tools to track and follow you.
When we first meet with a prospective client, we make sure to advise them of their rights and some “dos and don’ts” of the claim process. One of the major “don’ts” is talking about your accident, your claim, and/or your injuries with your friends. This may sound like an obvious issue, however, your lawsuit is your business, and no one else’s. Your discussions with your lawyers are confidential, however, any discussions with anyone else are not. Many of us have heard the phrase “what you say can be used against you in the court of law”. Well, its TRUE! This includes anything that you post on social networking sites or apps. Assume anything you post will become public. We have started to receive requests from the insurance company to disclose information regarding our client’s accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat, Foursquare, Pinterest, Instagram, Spotify, etc..
You may be asking, WHY? The insurance companies know that society is changing. The are relying on the injured person (young or old) to tell their friends or the world about their car accident, slip and fall accident, or recent dog bite through social media. In fact, they are counting on the injured person to make this mistake. It isn’t about telling the truth or whether the insurance company should have access to these accounts. The real issue is limiting your exposure; making sure that you are protected and in a position to recover fair and reasonable damages based on the circumstances of your claim. Regardless of your intentions, when you post information on the internet, someone is looking. Whether you intend a post, comment, thread, picture or video to reach a specific person, the potential exists for that information to become public. The insurance companies will “dig up” as much “dirt” as they can to avoid paying you money.
Just recently, we experienced a very bad result at Mediation. This was not due to our lack of effort, our knowledge, our skill or our experience. The bad result was solely due to a non-compliant client posting detrimental information on their Facebook page. This information was used by the insurance company to build a case against our client. It worked!
If you plan to bring a claim for damages following a car accident or any other accident, it is likely that you have suffered a loss of enjoyment of life. Defendants and their lawyers love to find pictures of our clients smiling with friends, traveling, etc. so that they can argue the pictures depict a different situation and are inconsistent with your claim. Of course, someone can be injured and still travel and can still enjoy themselves, however, when taken out of context, as in a still photo, and presented to a jury, the implication can be a detriment to an injury suit.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the attorneys at Brannon & Brannon to discuss your rights. The first meeting is free. Use our experience and education to protect yourself.
Have you been injured? Do you need Help? Visit www.BrannonCanHelp.com