Insurance companies know how to do their homework in personal injury cases. They will scrutinize every part of your life that is public. Keep reading to find out from our experienced panel how to protect yourself by changing the way you interact with social media.
Glenn Cambre

Glenn Cambre

Glenn Cambre, Founding Partner of Cambre & Associates.

Take Steps to Protect Your Case

Yes, social media posts can impact your personal injury claim. A client’s settlement can be significantly reduced or lost completely by actions [taken] on social media.

When we are intaking a new personal injury client we specify that:

1. Under no circumstances should you post anything to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. about this incident or resulting injuries.

2. If you’re in a motor vehicle accident you have to prove you are impaired physically by receiving treatment. You’re either transported to an emergency room immediately or we refer clients to one of our medical providers for specialized care. If a client is seeking to claim damages for pain and suffering, insurance companies are reviewing social media posts for evidence against your claim.

3. It is recommended that clients make their social media pages private, make sure they are not tagged in any group photos, and wait until the demand is submitted, at least, to engage socially the way they are used to.

Pain and suffering refer to pain, discomfort, anguish, inconvenience, and emotional trauma that accompanies an injury. You cannot be on social media enjoying life like you’re used to if you claim you’re suffering emotionally or you’re significantly inconvenienced because of the sustained injury.

Evidence Against You

Social media posts can definitely impact a personal injury claim. What many people don’t realize is that the insurance companies have vast legal teams to defend them. Some companies will even hire private investigators to scour social media and follow people around to find evidence that they are not as injured as their claim suggests.

Christian Denmon

Christian Denmon

Christian Denmon, Partner and Personal Injury Attorney at Denmon Pearlman Law.
Greg Rozdeba

Greg Rozdeba

Greg Rozdeba, President of Dundas Life.

Any Statements Made Outside the Court Can Be Used Against You

Yes, your social media posts have a direct impact on your personal injury claim outcome. Any statement you make outside of the court to others can be used against you since you are a party to the case. Your social media posts are within this purview of statements made outside the court. The insurance defense lawyers can use your social media posts and comments to challenge your personal injury claim in court.

To reduce the risk of your social media posts being used against you, avoid posting anything that disproves your disability or limitations. If you can, just avoid posting on social media completely until the case is over. Insurers’ lawyers can take anything you post out of context and damage your case.

Refrain from Posting

Whatever you post on social media can impact your injury claim negatively. The ideal thing to do is refrain from posting anything on your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account. In addition, it’s advisable to tell your family and friends to avoid tagging you or mentioning you on their posts.

Insurance investigators tend to peek through your profile to see if you are overstressing your physical or emotional trauma. If you find yourself posting smiley faces and images having fun, they’ll believe you are okay, and the chances of losing your lawsuit might be high.

Harriet Chan

Harriet Chan

Harriet Chan, co-founder of CocoFinder.
Charles Atha

Charles Atha

Charles Atha Director of Atha & Co.

Avoid Counterclaims

The defendants can mine your social media to look for evidence that you are not as injured as you say you are, in a bid to reduce the value of, or totally void your claim altogether.

[For example,] a client with a badly injured leg referred to a skydive on his Facebook page. Not only was his claim squashed, but he could have ended up receiving a fundamental dishonesty counterclaim. People have been jailed for this kind of fundamental dishonesty

Social Media Can Complicate Your Case

Absolutely! Social media posts can have an impact on personal injury claims. While they won’t necessarily destroy a case, they will add complications to a case, which you would want to avoid at all costs. You want to make your case as clean and easy as possible to get that maximum value. Giving the insurance companies that window to find opportunities to show clients in a bad light will make it difficult to present a straightforward case when the time comes.

Kellen Sinclair

Kellen Sinclair

Kellen Sinclair is partner at Stawicki, Anderson & Sinclair, a personal injury firm located in Sacramento, CA.

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