Your Social Media Posts Could Reduce Your Compensation After an Accident
January 6th, 2020|
Most of enjoy sharing our thoughts and daily updates through at least one social media platform, and probably more than one, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another. However, you have to be extremely cautious about what you post and how you post if you’ve been in an accident and you plan on filing a compensation claim, because your social media habits could harm your chances of getting compensation in ways you wouldn’t expect.
How Your Posts (And Others’) Could Harm Your Claim
Statements that Minimize Your Injuries
Posting “I’m okay” after the accident, or “I’m feeling a lot better today” during your recovery could cause the insurance company to argue your injuries are not as serious as they really are.
Apologies or Admissions of Guilt
These types of statements, even something as vague as “I wish I left the party earlier,” or “I feel so bad about the whole thing,” could be seen as an admission of fault in the accident.
Comments that Suggest You Contributed to Your Own Accident
Joking or chiding comments by friends and family on your accident-related posts such as “you always were a speed demon” or “I told you to stay off your phone in the car” could lead the insurance company to decide you caused or contributed to your own accident, and get your payment reduced or denied.
Posts that Contradict Your Compensation Claim
Avoid any mention of specifics around the accident, such as time, place, speed, and so on. And if you aren’t sure, never make a guess. You could accidentally end up contradicting an earlier statement or piece of evidence.
Angry Comments about the At-Fault Party
If you spend a lot of time on social media making disparaging comments about the at-fault party, the defense may try to argue that the primary cause of your compensation claim isn’t getting fair compensation but instead about getting revenge.
How Your Photos (And Others’) Could Harm Your Claim
It is very difficult to assign context to a photo without having been there when it was taken, so while you may go out with friends to try to take your mind off the stress and pain your accident caused you, the defense may later point to photos of you smiling in a bar or restaurant as proof that your injuries and emotional distress aren’t serious.
This goes not just for photos you post on your own account, but photos you are in on your friends’ and family members’ accounts as well.
How You Can Reduce Your Risk
Although not foolproof, these steps can help protect you from many of the tricks insurance companies may try to pull.
- Set all your social media accounts to private, and if possible, prevent others from sharing or commenting on your posts.
- Do not accept any new friend requests, especially from people you don’t know, while your claim is ongoing.
- Speak to friends and family offline and request they do not post anything about you, and especially don’t post about your accident, on their own accounts.
- Avoid mentioning your settlement even after your claim is resolved. If your settlement involves a confidentiality agreement, posting about it could result in you losing your settlement after the fact.
However, even if you don’t post a single thing about your accident and neither do your friends and family members, the insurance company may try to argue that if your posting habits don’t change, that you are unaffected by your accident. The best method to protect yourself is to use social media as little as possible until your claim is resolved.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Call Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.
We know how insurance companies and their adjusters and lawyers work, and we know how to combat the tricks they like to pull. After your accident, call the team at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin for a free case review, and you won’t need to pay anything unless we win your case.