Can Social Media Posts Damage My Personal Injury Claim?
Social media has become much more than just a tool to connect with others. In Kentucky courts, it has provided evidence used during civil and criminal cases. If you get injured in an accident, it is very important not to use social media platforms. An insurance company claims adjuster is most likely keeping a careful eye on your social media activity to look for evidence to use against you. The best way to protect yourself is by staying off of social media altogether while your personal injury claim is being processed.
How Can Insurance Companies Use Social Media?
Posting about an accident on social media may seem harmless, but in reality, it could cost you thousands of dollars. Insurance companies are skilled at saving money on client payouts. They will most likely look you up on popular social media sites and track your activity to search for reasons to deny your claim or diminish your settlement. The insurer’s goal may be to disprove your injuries, paint you as an unreliable claimant or even accuse you of insurance fraud.
Many people assume that only information posted about the accident can be harmful to a personal injury case, but insurance companies can twist almost anything around to use against a claimant. For example, if you post a photo of yourself enjoying time spent with your family or friends, an insurance company can use this to prove that you are not experiencing as much pain and suffering from your injuries as you are claiming.
Do not underestimate an insurance company or defense attorney’s ability to use your social media activity against you. An insurer can make use of your behaviors, location tags, pictures of partying, photos captured while driving, tagged photos of you on other profiles, videos of you hiking or performing physical activities, complaints about your job, plans for a vacation, new large purchases, and much more to build a case against you.
When Is Social Media Activity Admissible as Evidence?
Almost anything you post on social media can be used against you during a personal injury case if it is relevant. Social media platforms are part of the public domain, meaning they are accessible to everyone. To use something that you posted on social media as evidence, the defense attorney must show that it is pertinent to the issues being litigated.
An insurance company may even be able to access your private messages and deleted social media content with a subpoena if there is good reason to do so. For a good cause, the court can order you to produce information from your social media platforms, including something that was previously deleted or an account that was temporarily deactivated. This is why it is better not to post anything incriminating or harmful to your case on social media to begin with.
Social Media Tips During a Personal Injury Claim
The best thing you can do to protect your personal injury claim is to stay off of social media entirely. Tell your friends and family members not to interact with you on social platforms, either, as insurance companies may be looking out for mentions and tags. If you can’t stay off of social media during your claim, adjust any public social media profiles to private or protected. Be wary of any new friend requests or followers while your personal injury claim is being processed.
If you must post while an injury claim is underway, do not post about your accident or injuries in any regard. Do not post updates about your activities, locations or job, either. Any status updates, comments, photographs and location tags posted during your claim could be used against you. Don’t try to delete anything you’ve already posted. Deleting social media posts may only prove that you have something to hide. If you attempt to delete data that has already been subpoenaed, you could even be charged with the destruction or spoliation of evidence.
For more advice about how to protect your rights during a personal injury claim, contact a Kentucky personal injury lawyer.