Social Media After a Collision

If you have an active social media life, your first inclination after you’ve recovered from your collision may be to update your status informing everyone of the collision assuring them that you’re going to be okay. While this may help alleviate your friends’ concerns for your well being, it will also make the insurance company question whether you really are seriously injured. When you talk about the collision on Facebook or other social media sites, you are making essentially public statements that may be used to undermine your claim. You are opening yourself up to fights with the insurance company or the loss of your claim entirely.

social mediaIt is important to be aware that posting to Facebook after your collision can result in significant harm to your case. That advice applies to Facebook as well as other social media such as Twitter or Instagram. After your collision, you want to do everything in your power to present the best possible case and to obtain compensation for your injuries. You might wonder what to say on social media after your collision. The answer is simple: say nothing, and post nothing.

Five Ways Facebook and Other Social Media Sites Can Ruin Your Auto Collision Claim

Insurance companies monitor social media sites. If you file a claim, chances are that someone from the insurance company or the opposing party will search you out on social media. Here are just a few of the ways your social media posts can destroy your case:

1. Information about your activities can be used to claim you’re not injured.  A social media post showing you in your garden, on vacation, or even just hanging out at a backyard barbecue might be used as evidence that your injuries are not as bad as you claim – even if you were only standing in the garden for a few minutes or were gritting your teeth to get through a party.

2. Comments about the collision might be read as your admission of fault.  Fault in an auto collision can be a complicated question. Your casual comments about what happened in the collision, like “I never saw him coming” or “My old rust bucket of a car caused a crash!” can be interpreted by insurance adjusters and opposing lawyers to imply you are admitting fault, even when you are not legally responsible for the collision.

3. Posting “too much” can be used to claim you didn’t suffer emotional distress.  Auto collisions can be terrifying and the pain and emotional trauma of serious injuries can be devastating. If you are taking part on your social media streams like nothing happened, an insurance company may try to argue that the collision did not affect you as much as you claim and therefore you do not deserve compensation for emotional trauma.

4. Talking about your case may negate the confidentiality of your information.  When you share information about your case on social media, it becomes public knowledge. Any confidentiality protections such as those you have when you talk to your lawyer, no longer apply. Because auto collisions often involve sensitive medical and financial information, it is best to keep updates on your case to yourself.

5. Bad-mouthing the insurance company may be read as a sign of bad faith.  We all want to vent our frustrations when involved in a lengthy insurance claim battle. But if you put your frustrations in writing online, the insurance company may try to argue that you are not negotiating in good faith – and therefore the insurer should not have to negotiate with you at all. Even if you believe you have your settings on Facebook, Twitter, or another site set to “private” or “friends only,” anything you post to these sites has the potential to become public – and to be seen by insurance adjusters or other people in a position to use this information to deny your claim.

How Should I Handle Social Media After an Auto Collision?

With so many potential “traps,” what are the best ways to handle social media after a collision?

Consider these tips:

• Set your social media accounts to “private,” so that only your current friends can see what you post. If the site allows you to prevent friends from writing on your social media stream or sharing what you post, activate these protections as well.
• Avoid adding new friends or followers unless you know them and trust them. Never add an insurance adjuster or other insurance company employee.
• For the best results, avoid posting entirely until your claim is resolved. If you do post, never mention your collision or your claim. Update trusted friends and family members privately and warn them not to mention the claim online.

Private Profiles Are Not Private

You might have heard that making your Facebook or Twitter accounts “private” can prevent anyone from pulling information from those accounts in the event of a courtroom trial for an auto collision claim. That is false. Limiting public access to your social media accounts does not prevent the defense from gaining access to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, or other social media accounts. Defense lawyers can gain access to private messages, and in some cases to posts that you have deleted.

This does not mean that you should avoid using the “private” setting if you plan to keep your social media accounts active after the collision. Privacy settings can help to prevent other users from tagging you in photos or posting information to your social media pages.

Getting Tagged in Pictures

You do not want the other side in your auto collision claim to have access to photos on social media accounts in which you have been tagged. If other social media platform members have the ability to tag you in photos without your permission, you may not be aware of the picture being painted of you after your collision. If you keep your social media accounts active, be sure that you have privacy settings in place to prevent others from tagging images of you, or mentioning you on any social media sites.

The bottom line is that social media is not a necessary resource to discuss your auto collision claim. It’s best to keep all details about the collision, your injuries and the progress claim to yourself. Even after settlement, refrain from bragging about your compensation. Remember, the less you say, the better off your claim will be.

The advice and information contained in this article are for educational & support purposes only.

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