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How can Facebook Impact your Personal Injury Claim?

By Brady McAninch on June 23, 2016

Unfortunately, myself included, far too many of us have been involved in a car accident.  Car accidents are frightening, often times painful, and at the very least are a massive disruption to your life, at worst, they may change your life forever. But you may be asking, how does social media get involved?  How can Facebook impact your personal injury claim?  How could a Facebook post about your vacation, a Tweet about your new job, or an Instagram photo of you and your family impact your personal injury claim?  Insurance companies.

Insurance companies are almost always involved in car accidents.  Whether it is your own insurer or the insurer for the at-fault-driver, the insurance company is working from day one to lower the value of your claim.  Click here to read more about how to maximize your auto accident claim.  Most insurance companies will do anything and everything they can to try and weaken your claim.  We have even seen cases where the insurance company hired a private investigator to follow a claimant around after an accident to see if they are “truly” injured.

The rise of social media has changed the game for insurance companies.  From the second they become aware of your claim, they will be searching for you in Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and who knows, maybe they even still search for Myspace pages.  They are looking for posts and pictures to devalue your claim.  In fact, we recently had a case where a father went to his son’s track meet.  The father used his iPhone to take video and, as most proud fathers would, posted that video to Facebook congratulating his son on a job well done.  The insurance company saw this and claimed that the father clearly was not in pain since he was able to attend his son’s track meet.  Of course this allegation is inaccurate.  We at Hipskind & McAninch know that just because you are injured, doesn’t mean your life completely stops.  You still have to push on, even if you are in significant pain.

This is just one cautionary tale.  Everyday insurance companies are performing these types of searches to reduce the claims of people injured in automobile accidents.  This is why it is important that, similar to LeBron James in the playoffs, you stay off of social media during the pendency of your claim.

What can you do to maximize your personal injury claim?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming the privacy settings of your account can keep insurance companies from seeing your information. In today’s technology filled world it is wise to understand that once something goes online it is online forever and can’t be deleted. Therefore, be smart and consider everything you are posting for the world to see.

Most importantly NEVER misrepresent your level of activity in the wake of an injury and/or during a personal injury case. If the insurance company and defense are led to believe your activities are limited but then you post a video or picture on social media that contradicts your ability to do these things, your claim can greatly suffer.

Our advice is the following:

  • Always be truthful about your claim
  • We understand your case is not the only aspect of your life and that life goes on. But refrain from posting unsavory content on Facebook or any other social media accounts that have the potential to affect your claim.
  • If you already have nonsensical stuff posted on your social media sites, it is best to be straight forward and not hide it.

So, the next you post something on Facebook or Twitter or any social media take the time to consider how you would interpret the information posted on your profiles if you were a defense attorney looking for ways to poke holes in the case. Don’t make their job easier for them which in turn is hurts your claim.

If you or a loved one has a potential personal injury case or a legal question, please feel free to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hipskind & McAninch for a FREE consultation to discuss your legal issues in order to determine whether legal representation could actually benefit you:  | 618.641.9189 (IL) | 314.312.2930 (MO)

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