Posting on social media has become second nature for many people. But you can inadvertently create obstacles to maximizing your injury compensation when you post after an accident.
This concern includes more than social media posts about the accident. A claims adjuster or insurance defense lawyer can twist almost any post to raise questions about your injuries or your accident.
Here are some of the top reasons why you shouldn’t post on social media after your accident.
Anything You Say Can Be Used Against You
When police officers arrest someone, they must warn the arrestee that anything they say can be used against them. Injury lawyers could issue the same warning.
An insurance company can investigate you while processing your claim. The insurer can look at any public sources of information, such as court records, news reports, and social media posts. The insurer will seize on anything that contradicts your story about your injuries and how you got them.
You cannot control most of these sources. But you can control your social media posts.
Admissions Against Your Own Interests
Social media posts constitute hearsay. This can limit which posts a court will admit into evidence. But claims adjusters can rely on anything — including inadmissible hearsay — when denying or reducing your claim.
Admissions — or posts that they can twist into admissions — can serve as ammunition when denying insurance claims. Some examples include:
Posts About the Accident
Claims adjusters judge your credibility. If they think that your claim has inconsistencies or omissions, they can deny it.
As part of this investigation, they can look at your social media posts. You will have to explain any inconsistencies in your description of your accident or your injuries.
A claims adjuster can even hold up a car accident claim for minor inconsistencies like one post that says you “swerved and hit the brakes” and another that says you “slammed on the brakes.”
How Good You Feel
Claim adjusters can twist “feeling good” or even “feeling blessed” posts to question the severity of your injuries. According to their logic, you cannot feel good if you got injured in an accident.
Descriptions of Physical Activities
If you post about physical activities, the claims adjuster can question your injuries. Some subjects to avoid include:
- Outdoor activities, like fishing or camping
Even posting about walking in the park or playing with your dog can give insurers ammunition against you.
Your Videos and Photos
A video or photo can raise questions like:
- Why aren’t you limping?
- Where is your neck brace?
- Why did you go on a road trip if you have constant pain?
You might have explanations for all of the questions a video or photo can raise. But you can avoid giving explanations by not posting in the first place.
Replies Can Cause Problems, Too
Social media posts prompt replies. These replies can help claims adjusters and insurance defense lawyers find witnesses against you.
For example, suppose that you posted about your sister’s wedding. This might give a claims adjuster very little to use against you. But if your cousin replies with “I can’t believe you jumped on the table and danced the flamenco at the reception,” your cousin might get a call from the insurance company’s representatives.
Waiver of Privilege
Various privileges exist to protect your ability to speak candidly and get candid advice in return. Some of these privileges include:
- Doctor-patient relationships
- Attorney-client relationships
- Spousal relationships
- Clergy relationships
When you speak in these contexts, the other person cannot testify about the conversation. This facilitates open communication with those closest to you.
But if you post about these conversations publicly, you usually waive that privilege. As a result, you and the other person might need to testify about the content of the discussion.
Thus, a post that begins, “I talked to my lawyer today and he said…” probably waives all protections you would otherwise enjoy over that conversation.
Suspending Your Social Media Posts
Most people post online without considering how a claims adjuster or insurance lawyer could use the post against them. Rather than filtering yourself, you should consider temporarily suspending your social media activity.
Admittedly, some people will find this difficult. But an errant post can have a substantial cost to your injury claim.
To discuss other steps you can take to avoid problems with your claim, contact an experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of William M. Kolb.