How Social Media Can Ruin Your Personal Injury Case
A decade ago, the concept of social media was new, and very few people knew anything about it. Fast forward to 2016, and the picture is quite different. Everybody seems to be registered on at least one social media platform. In fact, information provided by the Pew Research Center indicates that at least two thirds of people living in America today are on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, with many of them registered on more than one social media platform. And there are no restrictions when it comes to what is posted on those sites. You can learn a lot about the personal lives of users by simply taking ten minutes to go through their social media profiles.
Like all things, social media platforms have both a good and bad side. The ugly side of social media becomes evident when it comes to filing a personal injury claim. Most personal injury claims are filed against insurance companies and, as expected, the insurance companies do everything in their power to avoid paying the claims. Once a personal injury claim is filed against them, they immediately hire investigators to examine the claim. The purpose of the investigation is not necessarily to establish what really happened but to find loopholes in the claimant’s version of events leading up to the claim, which the insurance companies can exploit to get them off the hook.
According to an article published on the Huffington Post, investigators usually begin their work by inspecting the social media activities of the plaintiffs. They go through social media profiles and pages, looking for where and when the claimants posted anything that might be of use to their insurers. Information obtained from social media platforms can be used to hurt your personal injury claim in two significant ways, as explained below.
The time and date of your postings as well as the locations from which you posted could be used against you to dispute your version of events. For instance, if you are claiming compensation for an injury that occurred in one place at a certain time, but your social media profile indicates that you posted content from a different location at the time when the accident is supposed to have occurred, then this can be used to prove that your version of events is either fabricated or inaccurate.
Extent/severity of injury
Personal injury claims are usually settled according to the severity of the injuries suffered by the claimants. Obviously, it is in the best interest of the insurance companies to prove that your injuries were not as severe as you claim. Posting a simple statement like “I am hanging out with my friends” when you are claiming personal injury compensation can be turned against you, and the insurance companies will try to use the statement to show that you were perfectly okay after the accident that injured you.
To avoid problems with your personal injury claim, such as those explained above, most personal injury lawyers will advise you to stay off social media platforms completely until the claim is settled. However, if you are hooked on social media, as most of us are, and unable to pull yourself away, then Consumer Reports advises the following measures:
- Changing the settings in your accounts so that all your posts are “private” instead of “public.”
- Blocking or deleting all apps that have access to your personal information regardless of whether they are allowed to share it or not.
- Blocking people from tagging you in their posts.
Contacting a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party, our team is ready to help. We urge anyone involved in or victim to a serious accident to contact a Miami personal injury lawyer immediately. Our Miami personal injury law firm has investigated hundreds of cruise ship accidents, slip and fall accidents, and traffic accidents for over 20 years; specializing in all types of negligence cases. Call our office today at 1-866-597-4529 or 305-441-0440 or reach us by email at [email protected]. We offer a free initial consultation and are ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.