In this day and age, sharing one’s daily encounters on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has been part of a routine for most of us. However, it cannot be stressed enough that you must not take your social media presence for granted – especially if you are making a personal injury claim.
Defendants and insurance companies utilize social media platforms to undermine a claimant and limit or deny their claim. What happens after an accident can greatly influence the outcome of a claim. For example, someone who claims suffering a spinal cord injury from a motorcycle accident posts photos of engaging in extreme sports and outdoor activities severs their chances of being compensated. Such evidence can be used to prove no-fault or limit the payout.
Among social media platforms today, Facebook remains to be the most widely used and the most accessible; and therefore the go-to site for insurance adjusters and attorneys in their investigation. Another popular target is Twitter for its growing number of users and the ease in which people express their thoughts and experiences on the platform. Videos uploaded on Youtube can also be used against your case. Other sites that make your case vulnerable are LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Google+. Things you post on these platforms with regards to your activities and whereabouts can potentially hurt your personal injury claim.
To protect your claim, you must avoid or limit your use of social media. Consider suspending or deactivating your Facebook and social media accounts in the meantime. If you cannot do this, you must be cautious with what you share online. Here are tips we would recommend:
- Do not share anything about your accident and recovery on your social media accounts – this includes posting content and adding comments on your posts and other people’s posts.
- To see what information will be pulled up when someone searches you on the Internet, google yourself. Go through each result and see if there is content that needs to be removed, edited, or hidden.
- Check your privacy settings on Facebook closely. Check the audience of your posts – make sure that your posts can only be seen by your friends on the social network. Change the setting by which others can search you on Facebook, send you private messages, and add you as a contact. Change the visibility of your friends’ list to “only me.” Disable search engines outside Facebook in linking to your Facebook profile – you can verify this by googling yourself afterwards.
- Tagged photos, videos, and check-ins on social media can also hurt your case. Take the time to review the settings of your tagged content on Facebook. Enable timeline review – this means that tagged content will not automatically appear on your timeline; you will have to review and approve it. Choose “only me” as the visibility setting of tagged content – this will enable you to better manage what appears on your timeline. To see how your profile appears when people outside your network search you on Facebook, you can click “View As” on the upper right side of your timeline. Check how your timeline appears, and edit the settings of the public posts accordingly.
Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.