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Social media platforms have transcended their social boundaries. In just the last two years, for instance, the way to hunt for a good job has changed. Reputable companies are now screening your qualifications on social media platforms before even contacting you. Similar actions are being taken in many industries for many reasons, one of which is to see if your injuries are legit.
Insurance companies, despite representing you, are businesses. They calculate money coming in and money going out. In other words, if they are collecting a higher amount of money in premiums than the amount of money they are paying out in claims, they are making a profit. It makes sense, therefore, that they will use any resource available to them to keep from paying money that they deem as unnecessary.
The reality of contemporary social media now is that it is a public platform, no matter your privacy settings. Insurance companies are going to search for useful information about accident claims, the same as employers do when looking for qualified applicants. So, before openly sharing information about your recent accident on social media, think about the further damage one post can cause.
Insurance investigators are going to use every bit of information available to them. There is no easier way to gather personal and critical information these days than to look at what a person posts on social media. The job of investigators, adjusters, and defense lawyers is to lower or eliminate any potential compensation for plaintiffs seeking said compensation.
Unfortunately, too many accident victims attempt to take advantage of insurance companies and the courts. For this reason alone, the process of proving a claim is always a difficult one. It certainly does not help if you post a picture of yourself wrestling with the kids in the living room shortly after you filed an insurance or legal claim stating that you are physically unable to work and are suffering immensely.
Any evidence that applies to your case or the timeline of your accident and recovery is fair game to investigators. Defense attorneys and insurance companies have the right to ask you for access to your social media accounts, including digital conversations you have with friends and family members. Posts of your activities can be used as a narrative to show just how well you have been doing since your accident.
Remember that following an accident, insurance companies and lawyers will be researching and gathering any and all information relevant to your case. This includes surveilling your family and friends to see if they are putting any useful information about you out on the internet.
Words can be used in many ways and can easily be twisted. A phrase that alludes to you not having to go to your job or referring to your job negatively could be twisted to mean that you are using your accident as a way to get out of going to work. This goes for a slip and fall accident or a car accident.
There are ways for a claim to fall flat that most people are not aware of: breaking a non-disclosure agreement, for instance, could destroy your case. Many people like to boast on social media. Remember that social media is habit-forming; it is difficult to break patterns of behavior.
Non-disclosure agreements are especially used by businesses, so discussing terms of settlement on a public platform could have catastrophic consequences if you have signed such an agreement. This is also the case if your family member publicly discusses the terms.
First and foremost, you must assume that everything you say or do can be used against you to refute your claim. Staying off of social media is absolutely the best way to go about making sure that you will not make a critical mistake. The best way to go about it is to suspend or deactivate your account. If you do not, definitely do not post any pictures or statements about your accident.
Ask your family and friends not to post any information about your accident as well. Remember that all eyes are watching, and all information that goes out on the internet is public information. Things you post on the internet can also be found forever, so erasing information, especially photos of your accident, could come back to haunt you.
Make sure to archive your statements and photos relevant to your accident. Erasing information could be used to prove that you have something to hide. In the court case ALLIED CONCRETE COMPANY v. LESTER decided in 2013, it was found that the plaintiff was advised by his attorney to delete information pertaining to his accident. As a result, the plaintiff’s claim was denied.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury via a car accident, slip or fall, or workplace accident, you need a competent lawyer on your side. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will aggressively pursue your claim to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Bear, Wilmington, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.