People use social media to post often about anything from politics to work and stress levels. However, after suffering a car accident, it’s important that injured victims limit their use on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. As of 2015, 65% of American adults use social media sites, according to the Pew Research Center. Because social media has become so pervasive, insurance companies often view an injury victim’s online profiles to find photographic or textual evidence that her injury is not legitimate.
How Insurers Can Use Your Online Activity
Insurance companies exist to provide help after unforeseen incidents; however, they are also businesses who watch out for their bottom line. After suffering an injury in a car accident, insurance adjusters conduct surveillance to discredit your injury claims. One way they do this is by monitoring your social media accounts. Be aware of posting and sharing the following:
- Photos. If an insurance adjuster checks up on an injury victim’s Facebook page, for example, and sees a picture of her smiling, active, or looking healthy, he can use that as evidence to discredit a claim of serious injury. Additionally, it’s important to avoid posting photos even from the past. Posting a photo from an intense backpacking trip you took two years ago could be used, albeit incorrectly, to support the adjuster’s claim that you aren’t seriously injured. If this happens, you and your attorney would need to spend more time proving the photo’s irrelevance.
- Public posts. Often, family and friends show concern for you and your health by writing supportive messages to you publicly. If you respond back trying to dissuade their worry, saying, “I’m ok,” the adjuster could twist those words to discredit your claim.
- Tags. If an adjuster sees you checked into a “fun” place like a bowling alley after you broke your leg, he could use that activity to question your injury. Not only can adjusters use one of your check-ins to devalue your claim, he might also use a friend’s tag of you.
How to Use Social Media After a Car Accident
Responsible social media use after a car accident is key. Changing your online habits during the time your case is ongoing might be difficult, but the payoff is worth it. While your first instinct might be to post an update about your accident, taking the following actions is more prudent:
- Disengage from social media completely. If you can help it, totally detaching yourself from your social media profiles while going through the settlement process is the safest option. This includes asking your friends and family to avoid posting about you or tagging you in posts.
- Keep emotion out of the picture. If you’re unable to refrain from social media altogether, stick to writing factual, even-tempered posts. Don’t refer to your injury or the accident at all, and don’t post photos of yourself or check in to any locations you visit.
- Limit privacy settings. During the time of your case, you can limit your posts to be visible only to friends and family. This way, an insurance adjuster could not access your profile without your consent. Additionally, only accept friend requests from people you’ve met, and don’t accept a friend request from the insurance adjuster—no matter how kind and helpful she seemed.
Find the Experienced Help You Need
The time between suffering an injury and recovering compensation can be tedious and confusing. If you have questions about social media, speaking with an insurance adjuster, or your injury claim, the legal team at Tavss Fletcher is here to help. To learn more about us and get started on your case, call us toll free at 877.960.3441 today.