You are probably well aware that employers and college admissions boards check your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites as a routine part of the hiring or admissions process, and what they find can have a significant impact on your future. What you may not realize, though, is that insurance companies and law firms do the same thing during the course of a Pennsylvania personal injury case.
How can social media impact my case?
Social media and insurance claims do not mix. If you are fighting for compensation in Pennsylvania, you should know that your social media accounts are almost certainly being monitored. Anything you post has the potential to harm your case, and reduce the amount you can recover in your accident claim.
The most important thing you can do to ensure you do not put your claim at risk is to focus on your physical recovery during this time period. Instead of sharing details of your accident on social media, share your concerns with your doctor or a therapist. Instead of posting pictures to Facebook, focus on the progress you are making in physical therapy.
Posting pictures or status updates about your progress or saying you are improving gives the impression that you did not suffer serious injuries in the crash. But it is not a good idea to play the victim card and share daily updates of your pain and misery, either. In fact, the best option is to avoid mentioning the accident on social media at all.
How can the other party use social media posts against me?
As social media rose in popularity, people began to share more and more personal information on the Internet. If a claimant posts details about their accident or injury online, it can certainly jeopardize their case. This is true even if one does not admit fault for the accident.
Sometimes, accident victims avoid posting about the accident entirely, but still find their social media posts submitted as evidence against them. Seemingly innocent comments taken out of context can be devastating to a personal injury claim.
Posting an old picture of you riding a bike, skiing or going for a hike can cause the insurer to reject your claim. Pictures or videos where you appear happy and active can destroy your case, because they contradict the extent and severity of the injuries in question.
It is not only your own posts that they are watching. A friend who comments that they are “glad you were not hurt” or were “happy to see you out and about” can bring the true extent of your injuries into question. Seemingly innocuous comments have ruined more than one case in the last few years, and you do not want them to hurt your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
How can I reduce my risk of this happening?
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we advise all of our clients to take down all of their social media pages while their cases are active. If this is not possible, we recommend using the most conservative privacy settings possible, and being very mindful of what you post.
- Avoiding posting any photos of yourself whether new or old. This is especially true for pictures that include your injures or that show you engaged in any strenuous activity.
- Avoid mentioning vacations or other outings on social media. While they were probably planned well before your accident, the insurance company is unlikely to give you that benefit of the doubt.
- Avoid having your picture taken at events like weddings, birthday parties, reunions or other functions. If a friend does snap your picture, ensure they understand the importance of not posting it to social media until after your case settles.
- Do not accept “friend” or “follow” requests from people unless you know them. People employed by the insurance company or at-fault party may use this as a way to circumvent your privacy settings.
- Do not talk about your case online. This includes social media sites, chat rooms, discussion boards and other websites.
How can Cordisco & Saile LLC help?
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we pursue maximum compensation for our clients through any legal means necessary. We can guide you through filing a no-fault insurance claim, a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit after a Pennsylvania accident causes serious injuries.
We are not afraid to fight insurance companies who try to minimize your claim, but it pays to restrict your social media use during the claims process. Call us today at 215-642-2335 if you have any questions about social media and your case, or if you need to schedule a free consultation.