When a car accident claim has been filed, an insurance company investigation will commence. One of the tactics being used more and more in collecting useful information on the claimant is examining his or her social media accounts to check for status updates, posts, and photographs or videos that may contradict claims of injury.
Ways That Social Media Can Damage a Car Accident Claim
Whenever an individual makes a claim that his/her injuries are severe, disabling or life-altering, there is a pretty good chance that an insurer is going to look further into this. Let’s say a person asserts that he/she is unable to work or to socialize because of a debilitating back injury, yet pictures are posted online that indicate otherwise.
It could be a photo of the individual dancing at a party or playing a game of softball, even if the picture was taken prior to the injury.
Or if the person claims that because of his/her injuries, what was once an active lifestyle is now non-existent. Yet status updates contradict this, such as “Can’t wait to go to the amusement park this weekend,” or even comments from others such as “Looking forward to our hike this week.”
Many times an insurance company will look for evidence that refutes a claim regarding a specific type of injury. If the individual says his/her leg is broken, there is likely to be a concentrated effort to find comments, status updates, photos and videos that would disprove this claim.
As a result, a car accident claim can end up being denied. Or it may be settled for a lot less money than would have otherwise been recovered.
Protecting a Car Accident Claim When Using Social Media
The best way to protect a claim is to temporarily deactivate all social media accounts until the claims process is over. Some people think that they will just reduce the amount of time they spend online or be very careful with what they say. But one can’t control what others say or post. Candid photos taken at a party could undo months of work in the courtroom.
Some users don’t realize that the settings for their accounts are public. But even those whose settings are private aren’t 100 percent protected. Or there may not be much thought given to some of the conversations that take place on a Facebook wall and whether others may be able to see it.
Facebook is one of the more popular social media sites in which people tend to put out a lot of information, ranging from comments to pictures and videos. But other well-known sites include Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, even personal blogs or websites can be useful to an insurance investigation.
Talk to an Attorney about Protecting a Car Accident Claim
With so many people using social media, it’s critical to know how it can be hurtful to a claim. Talking with an attorney can help an injured person learn more about tactics that may be used during insurance investigations and how these efforts can be thwarted by smart social media use. But there are other ways a claim can be protected, so it can be beneficial to seek advice. The law firm of Cordisco & Saile LLC can assist with this and other aspects of a car accident claim.