Around 80% of Americans use at least one social media platform, and many of those people use multiple platforms and check their profiles or post at least once per week or more. Social media is a great way to stay connected with family and friends, but it has come under fire in recent years due to privacy concerns. And as personal injury lawyers, we’ve seen firsthand how those privacy concerns have hurt our clients.
When injured victims file compensation claims, insurance companies work hard to find ways to reduce or deny them. The lengths they go to are often surprising for injured victims, and it’s not unheard of for insurance adjusters to stake out claimants’ houses to “catch them” doing things that indicate their injuries aren’t serious.
But in recent years, social media has become a boon for adjusters, especially when claimants’ profiles are unlocked or accessible to the public. That allows adjusters a chance to keep tabs on claimants and watch for updates, posts, and pictures that show them engaged in activities that shouldn’t be possible given their injuries. Because of that, it’s extremely important for personal injury claimants’ to be careful when posting on social media, or to even temporarily stop altogether.
Most personal injury claims settle before going to court, but not all of them do. Sometimes, insurers dig their heels in and refuse to pay, especially for high-value claims that involve serious injuries, big medical bills, and prolonged disability. In these cases, insurers will use everything at their disposal to avoid paying, and social media posts can play a major part in their defense.
The ways that insurance companies can use social media posts against victims can be surprising for people who aren’t used to that level of scrutiny. Any and every word you post can be twisted and used against you, as can pictures that don’t even include you, as the adjuster may argue you took the picture yourself and thus aren’t seriously injured.
The most effective way to avoid being a victim of a cyber sleuth insurance adjuster is to simply stop posting on social media altogether after your accident and while your claim is in progress. This means the adjuster won’t be able to dig up any “dirt” on you online or misrepresent your pictures and status updates.
If you do continue posting, be sure to avoid mentioning your accident, your injuries, or the status of your claim. Also, avoid posting pictures of yourself engaged in activities that might suggest your injuries aren’t painful or disabling, even if you were in significant pain when the pictures were taken. Insurance adjusters are notorious for taking things out of context to serve their own purposes, and something as innocent as a picture of you standing with family members can be used against you.
Another option is to lock your social media profiles to be visible only to friends and family. However, this isn’t always a foolproof solution. Insurance adjusters may still find ways to view your profile, as they may send you a friend request or even ask people who CAN see your profile for information about your online activity!
At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we know that there are more pitfalls than ever for injured victims who need compensation. Social media posts are just one of many ways that adjusters reduce or deny claims to deserving victims. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers work hard to protect our clients from adjusters who dig into their personal lives to find ways to pay them as little money as possible, and we want to protect you, too.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We won’t let the insurance company get the upper hand on you, and we’ll ensure your rights are protected from every possible angle.
Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & NewlinN/a
The financial burden that often comes with a serious injury can be too much for many people to bear. Unexpected medical debt, damaged personal property, and the sudden loss of income can impact the budgets of most families. The good news is that a successful injury claim could help reduce that financial strain after a serious accident. Get in touch with a Terre Haute personal injury lawyer with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin to learn more.
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