Social media is a great outlet to broadcast both the highlights and downfalls of your everyday life. Got a raise? Post it on Facebook for the world to see. Had a mishap with some hair dye? Instagram it for sympathy, or at least to show the world you have a sense of humor about it. Made an awesome dinner? Show the world what a great cook you are by tweeting about it.
A drunk driver just smashed your car like an empty beer can? Sure, go ahead and take pictures of the damage, but before you post them make sure you know what a simple upload could cost you.
Social Media Can Be Used to Weaken or Deny Injury and Damage Claims in Car Accident Cases
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners proudly states that social media sites are profitable assets for the insurance community. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram all allow insurance companies to collaborate with one another, seek advice and tips from fellow adjusters, share multimedia presentations, and share reviews with other insurance companies as well as the public. Although this type of communication is great for community sharing, the insurance community uses social media for a bit more than team building.
Insurance Companies Can & Will Use Your Social Media Posts Against You
In addition to connecting with associates, increasing business awareness, and developing trust within the insurance community, insurance companies are also using social media as a way to deny collision injury claims. When investigating a claim, an adjuster will use your photos, posts, and status updates to compare alleged accident times, the severity of your injuries, and need for compensation.
This is why it is extremely important not only to monitor what you post, when you post it, and whether it may have an affect on your claim, but also to verify any postings with your injury lawyer before you decide to share them.
The following social media sites are the most popular for insurance companies to patrol, and are therefore the most dangerous to update publicly.
With more than a billion users worldwide, Facebook is most definitely the leading social media outlet. Unfortunately, insurance companies know that it is the most popular place for people to chronicle their daily routines, including details, photos, and memes about an accident, as well as activities they participated in before and after the accident.
If you posted a photo of you doing shots 15 minutes before your accident or post that you are looking forward to going to the club tonight, an adjuster can use this information to question the validity of your accident claim—even if you put on your claim that you suffered a broken leg.
The ease with which people can “tweet” their thoughts, opinions, and gossip about pretty much anything (including accidents) makes Twitter an extremely popular and dangerous place for misunderstandings by insurance adjusters, and could potentially cost you your claim approval.
Videos of you partying, lifting heavy objects, swimming, or engaging in other active situations when you’re supposed to be injured may make an insurance adjuster skeptical of your injury’s severity. Furthermore, videos of you performing dangerous vehicle stunts or unsafe driving maneuvers could also cause an adjuster to question the accuracy of your entire claim.
The whole spectrum of “check-in apps” such as Foursquare can be extremely counterproductive to your claim by publicly broadcasting your whereabouts while your claim is ongoing. Suspicion may arise if you claim to have a broken pelvis, yet you “check-in” at a skating rink, or if you filed that your wrist is fractured, yet you’re currently at a bowling alley.
Activity, discussions, and posts on Google+ can also hurt your claim if you're talking about your specific accident, posting pictures of your injuries, or allowing friends to discuss the incident in detail.
Don’t Let Social Media “Data Mining” Deny You Compensation
Don’t give the adjuster reason to suspect your claim. Stay away from publicly posting anything that may question your claim or hurt your chances for a proper settlement. If you need to vent, express your anger, or talk to someone about the accident, there are safer places to do it than through social media—specifically, at our office. Not only will speaking with an experienced Las Vegas traffic injury lawyer allow you to vent without the worry of having your thoughts be used against you, but we can help you get the settlement you truly deserve from the insurance company—not just what the adjuster wants to give you.
If you need help pursuing your injury claim, contact us online or call us directly at 702.405.6000. Our knowledge and eagerness to fight for you will help prove why having an experienced lawyer, is the first step to getting the settlement you deserve. Call now for your free consultation.
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