When filing a personal injury claim to gain full compensation for your accident, your case is likely going to be against an insurance company for that compensation. Those insurance companies are going to do what they can to avoid having to pay out as much as possible. The main way they do this is to try and minimize the seriousness of your injuries so they can claim you don’t need the full compensation owed to you.
One thing insurance companies will definitely take advantage of is the social media account of the injured victim. Insurance companies will be keeping track of all of your social media trying to gather as much information as possible to use against you. Even if you are private or think you have the correct accounts blocked from your social media, there really is nothing stopping them from being able to see anything you post…even if you delete it. It is actually possible for the judge to allow all of your post history (including deleted posts) to be provided if the insurance company requests it. Therefore, here are the biggest Do’s and Don’ts with your social media accounts when pursuing a personal injury claim.
While it is very important to document as many details surrounding your injury, that should not be posted online. It’s important to not show your cards when it comes to your personal injury case. Any evidence you have, big or small, should only be shared between you and your attorney. So when you are in a personal injury lawsuit, it is imperative that you don’t post any photo or video evidence of the scene of the accident, or any pictures of your injury. Since your recovery will be greatly discussed during your case, it is also really important that you don’t document your road to recovery.
Everyone wants to share their sweet Instagram shots while they are on vacation. However, this is a very bad idea. You are trying to prove that your injuries have diminished your abilities and quality of life. Obviously, just because you are injured doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself and have some leisure time. But it is a bad look in court, so keep your vacation private and post them online after your case is closed.
Additionally, really anything or any activity that shows any kind of semblance of what you’re able to do should not be posted. Social media posts can inadvertently show the other side what you’re physically capable of doing after your injury. If you post a picture of your children on the ski hill, the other side might ask who took the picture. If the answer is you, they’ll have proof that you’re on a ski hill. What you post can call your case into question in ways you may not be able to predict.
Even if you don’t post anything, pictures and comments from family and friends can also be used against you in your case. Therefore, it’s a good idea to tell them to not make comments about your injury or your case online. Additionally, they should avoid posting pictures of you and especially avoid tagging you in photos. This is just as risky as if you were posting them yourself.
With so many different things that you need to keep in mind in order to avoid harming your case, it might just be easier to pause your social media accounts. When we are on social media, it’s easy to feel compelled to participate and to share more about what’s going on in our lives. During a personal injury case, it’s very risky. Temporarily pausing or deactivating your accounts so that you don’t feel obligated to post might make it easier, as well as eliminate the risk of others being able to tag you in their posts or photos. Once the case is settled, you can resume posting to your heart’s content.
If this is not possible, it is very important that you are super careful with how you use your social media accounts. Avoid sharing your personal life and stick to liking others posts.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.