How to Wreck Your Personal Injury Case: Use Social Media
Nowadays, everyone is using social media. It’s great for updating your own information and checking out someone else… just about anyone you want to find information about. It’s also true anyone can search for information about YOU. And that’s just why it’s so important to protect yourself – especially if you have a personal injury case.
Don’t you think the insurance adjuster is going to “Google” you, check out your Facebook profile, and follow you on Twitter for anything possible to make you look bad, embarrass you or use against you to diminish the value of your case?
If you’re going to have your deposition taken, don’t you think the insurance defense attorney has checked you out in every possible way on the Internet, and maybe through an investigator and even with video surveillance?
When insurance attorneys are preparing deposition or trial questions for you, they’re likely to know everything about you posted on the Internet or found in public records.
After an injury, the best advice is Do Not Post on the Internet, especially on social media sites, until your case is concluded. While you probably won’t take down your social media sites altogether, if there’s no new information posted after your injury, there’s less to be used against you.
A personal injury insurance adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible for your injury claim. If you provide comments or describe activities on your social media profile, inconsistent with the severity of your claimed injuries, it can be used to attack your credibility and devalue your claim.
Even if you have the most stringent privacy settings enabled, the defendant’s attorney and insurance company can access your information though the civil discovery process, or by a subpoena.
Who me? Consider these examples…
If you injured your back in a car accident and are claiming you can’t perform heavy lifting, you’re constantly in pain and can’t engage in normal recreational activities, it wouldn’t be a good idea to post a video of you catching and holding a 100-pound tuna on a fishing trip in Mexico. The insurance adjuster on your personal injury claim will use this information against you to make you look like you’re lying or at least exaggerating your injuries.
Consider, for example, the difference between posting, “Dancing last night was great!” and “I had fun watching you guys dance.” If you went “skiing” with friends, but sat in the lodge and never actually skied, make that clear. If you went bowling, but sat out the last game because your back injury flared up, say so!
If your Facebook page mentions your love for street racing, and you’ve been injured in an auto accident, where you and the other driver blame each other for speeding and running a red light, don’t you think your online information will lessen the value of your claim?