For better or worse, individuals of all ages spend a significant amount of time interacting with friends and family through social networking sites. For many, it has become a daily habit to share updates about events in their personal lives. Unfortunately, doing so after a motor vehicle collision can not only keep your friends updated, but also hand ammunition to an insurance company attempting to devalue your claim.
After a serious personal injury, it is wise to remember that the insurance company is, at its heart, a business. They will attempt to help their policy holders while also protecting their bottom line. When looking to delay, deny or devalue a claim, the insurance company could potentially use your social media posts against you.
- Case study #1: A woman is in a motor vehicle collision and immediately posts numerous status updates centering on the accident and her resulting injuries. In the days and weeks that follow, she continues to post various updates, often accompanied by photos, of her daily activities and actions of which she is genuinely proud. Unfortunately, her activity level does not seem to match the injuries and treatment schedule she has claimed on her statement. For example, she can be seen carrying numerous grocery bags or rearranging furniture – activities that would have been extremely painful given her stated lower back injuries.
- Case study #2: A man is in a car crash and publishes a post that updates his friends and family members that he has been injured but will make a full recovery. Based on his history of posts, the insurance company can build a timeline of events. Unfortunately, the man can be seen in numerous status updates prior to the collision at a party enjoying alcoholic beverages. The insurance carrier might attempt to challenge the claim based on these circumstances.
It is wise to both stay off social media and heed an experienced attorney’s guidance when dealing with the insurance company after a motor vehicle collision. Severe injuries and property damage can quickly lead to financial peril based on medical bills, repairs and lost wages. It is important to let your friends and family members know you are safe after a crash, but you are encouraged to do so privately rather than on social networking outlets.