Please Don’t Update Your Profile Status Or Send A Tweet After A Car Accident
These days, social networking is a part of everyone’s lives. Parents and pets have Facebook pages; college students and celebs are tweeting every thought and activity. We share nearly every aspect of our lives with our friends, and their friends, and friends of friends of family … from exciting life announcements to what we had for breakfast or what time we made it to the gym – it’s all up for broadcast.
So, it shouldn’t come as any big surprise that insurance companies tap into this rich information source also, and troll the social networking accounts for accidents victims looking for any pearls that they can use to undermine a personal injury case. Smiling photos, status updates illustrating that the victim is anything but miserable and in serious pain, videos of a night out with friends, any of this can be used by an insurance company to argue that an accident victim hasn’t been as injured or impacted by the accident.
Many people don’t bother to keep the security settings for the social networking accounts on private and insurance company investigators will send friend requests giving them full access to the victim’s entire social networking timeline. In some cases, even having privacy settings in place doesn’t help because the court will order the victim to give access to the insurance company on suspicion that there is relevant information there. Clients will argue that they were just trying to move on with their lives, or put their best foot forward in the face of tragedy but, unfortunately this is seen only as being dishonest and trying to get reparation that they are not due.
The best thing you can do to protect the integrity of your personal injury case is to refrain from using social networking period, until your case has settled. Some additional recommendations include:
- If you simply can’t stay away from social networking then, at least keep your posts to a minimum and avoid posting photos or minute by minute details of your daily activities
- Make sure that your privacy settings are at the highest level
- Don’t approve friend requests from strangers
- Be honest. Don’t post things that are not true.
The fact is, regardless of personal privacy rights if you are interacting on social networking you are at risk for having your privacy violated, especially if you are involved in a personal injury case. Protect yourself by being honest, careful, and discreet.