Social Media a Trap for the Unwary

June 17, 2023 / 9:02 pm

By now you know that the insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible in compensation for your injuries. In pursuit of this goal, the insurance company may delve into your personal life by combing through your social media accounts, looking for evidence to use against you.

The surest way to avoid this trap is to go on a social media blackout until your case is resolved. For most people, however, this is simply unrealistic. If you cannot quit social media cold-turkey, try to limit your use and follow these guidelines:

DO ask friends and family not to post pictures of you and not to tag you in any social media posts. If, for example, you are front and center, hoisting the league trophy, in a photo your bowling team captain posts on Facebook, the insurance company will pounce on that photo as evidence that you are “malingering” – exaggerating your injuries and symptoms for financial gain. Even if you never picked up a bowling ball or changed out of your street shoes, and all you did was play the role of supportive teammate, this photo puts you on the defensive and makes your case significantly more difficult.

DO put yourself in the adjuster’s shoes and, before you post anything, ask, “Is there any way this [photo, tweet, like, share, etc.] could be misinterpreted and used against me?” If the answer is yes, don’t put it out there.

DO set all your social media accounts to the highest privacy setting.

DO NOT accept friend requests from anyone you do not know personally.

DO NOT post anything about your insurance claim, your accident, your injuries, etc. on any social media site.

DO NOT delete your social media accounts or create new accounts under different usernames. The insurance company and/or its defense lawyers will sniff out your deception and it will destroy your credibility. When your credibility is lost, your case is all but lost.

DO NOT post anything to your personal blog that you do not want the insurance company, the judge and, perhaps one day, a jury to see.

The bottom line here is simple: Treat your personal injury claim like the private matter that it is. If you have questions about social media or any other aspect of your case, please call us. We are here to help.