Can Social Media Impact Your Personal Injury Claim?
December 3, 2018
Many people use social media to talk about things going on in their lives, including information about a recent accident. However, in a personal injury claim, you run the risk of anything you post online being used against you. It is important to understand how social media can affect your claim and ways that you can protect your claim.
The experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group can provide you with advice and guidelines regarding social media use while you have a pending personal injury claim. We can also help answer any additional questions you may have during a free, no obligation case consultation.
Social Media and Privacy Rights
Many people use social media to connect with others across the country and the world. However, statements made on these platforms can often be used in courts. Most comments, posts and other submissions on these sites are considered public, even if you have taken steps to adjust your privacy settings.
There are many ways that people can gain access to your social media information, including pretending to be someone in order to gain access to your profile or to use information they get from your friend’s page. Insurance adjusters may be able to request information about your social media profiles in discovery and gain access to it.
Past content may still be visible from times before you adjusted your privacy settings. Although you may feel that you have a right to share with whom you want, there may be legal ways around your privacy settings.
Ways Social Media Can Hurt Your Injury Claim
The insurance adjuster’s job is to show that you were responsible for the accident, to convince the jury that you are not as badly hurt as you claim or that you are making up your injuries. Any evidence that is on social media that supports any of these theories may be used against you.
Insurance adjusters and attorneys representing the at-fault party’s insurer will look for the following posted information:
- Comments ”“ Insurance adjusters may read comments that you make about your case to gain inside information that would otherwise be privileged between you and your attorney. They may also go back years in your online profile to look for preexisting injuries to claim that you were not actually hurt in the accident.
- Pictures ”“ Insurance adjusters may try to find pictures of you engaging in active behaviors, such as dancing or partying to claim that you were not actually injured. Even a picture of you smiling can be used against you.
- Videos ”“ Videos that show that you are feeling fine may be used to undermine your claim of pain and suffering or the type of injuries you allege. Insurance adjustersmay also use videos to try to show that you are exaggerating your injuries.
How to Protect Yourself on Social Media Platforms
The best rule for social media use when you have a pending legal proceeding is not to use it at all. However, many people are hesitant about taking this action as they rely heavily on social media to stay in touch with people. Some other ways that you can protect your claim on social media are:
- Be careful what you post ”“ Think about what you post before making it public. Think about how the insurance adjuster may use the information. Avoid talking about your claim online, anything you shared with your personal injury attorney and photos of the accident or your injuries.
- Adjust your privacy settings ”“ Adjust your privacy settings so only friends and family can locate and view your profile. While this is not a foolproof plan, it may provide some degree of protection.
- Ask friends and family to be private ”“ Ask your friends and family not to discuss your case online, including your injuries or any other information that insurance adjusters may be trying to obtain.
Contact Phillips Law Group for Legal Assistance
If you were injured in an accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group for legal assistance. We can help you throughout the entire claims process. We can provide you with guidelines regarding your social media use and other tips to protect your rights while your case is pending.
If you decide to move forward, our firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you are only charged legal fees if we help you recover fair compensation for your claim.
Get started today by calling 1-800-706-3000 for your free case evaluation.
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