With the overwhelming majority of Americans and people worldwide connecting through social media accounts, it’s natural to want to post about something as terrifying and life-altering as a serious injury in a car accident, fall, workplace accident, or any other incident that leaves you with significant damages. An estimated 4.48 billion people currently use social media, with many using as many as 7 different platforms. While it may seem like a few posts after an accident to update family and friends is the best way to share the news of your injury and recovery process, there are very important reasons why experienced personal injury attorneys in Florida or elsewhere warn clients not to post anything on social media after an accident until their personal injury claim or lawsuit is complete.
Insurance companies don’t happily write out large checks. Instead, they hire claims adjusters whose sole jobs are to find ways to deny or lowball claims in order to protect their profits.
It’s crucial to understand the ways even your most innocent social media posts can be used against you in an injury case.
Even if you’re forcing a smile through your pain at a close relative’s wedding weeks after a serious injury, that innocent photo can become a tool used against you to deny your valid claim for compensation for injury damages such as:
Because pictures prompt a visceral reaction, a photo of you smiling and celebrating at a wedding may be used as evidence that you are not truly suffering from your injury as you’ve claimed even when your claim is absolutely valid and you were in a great deal of pain.
While we tend to think of social media posts used against injury victims as those revealing a person claiming a severe back injury in a photo swinging a golf club or lifting weights, even an innocent photo of an injury victim smiling from a lawn chair at a pool or attending a child’s graduation may surface as supposed evidence that you aren’t as injured as you’ve claimed.
It’s important to stay off of social media completely during an injury claim process. Even if you don’t post photos, innocent remarks to a social media friend that you’re feeling better or have had a good day can be easily unearthed and used against you.
In some cases, accident victims who are anxious to share the news of the injury on social media, unwittingly admit to fault when they make seemingly innocuous statements like, “I never saw him coming,” “I didn’t have time to stop,” or “I’m sorry this whole thing happened.” An insurance company may unearth these remarks and use them against you to deny your claim for compensation.
Even if you’re careful about your posts and adjust your privacy settings to friends or family only, there are always ways a clever insurance investigator can get around these settings. Scouring old social media posts made before you changed your settings to reveal a previous injury or medical condition they might then claim as the true cause of your symptoms, or scanning the posts of your family members to take photos and remarks out of context are all a part of the playbook.
Nothing you post on social media is ever truly private. Screenshots, photos, and videos shared by friends, as well as simple Google searches can turn up photos and posts that may be misinterpreted and used against your valid claim for compensation for damages after an injury.
If you have a pending insurance claim or lawsuit after an injury, speak to your personal injury attorney about the best way to protect yourself. Many attorneys recommend deactivating or suspending all social media accounts until you’ve settled your claim. However, it’s important to note that if you’ve already posted something that could contradict your claim, shutting down an account doesn’t mean that it isn’t subject to a subpoena in court. It’s best to avoid posting anything about your accident or injury at all and deactivate your accounts after an injury to protect yourself against these tactics.
For those in Sarasota and Bradenton, Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann is here to provide expert legal guidance in navigating personal injury claims. With a deep commitment to our clients’ well-being, we offer comprehensive advice to ensure your rights are protected and your case is handled skillfully. Whether it’s advising on social media usage or representing you in negotiations or court, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to securing the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation and let us guide you towards the justice you seek.