Your social media presence and your accident claim

The impact of social media on national and world events is untold. There is no question that the worldwide network created through Facebook, Twitter and other popular accounts has brought critical issues into the consciousness of many in Louisiana who may otherwise never have considered them.

Even if you have not noticed the cultural climate through social media, you have likely seen an effect in your own life through your online presence. Perhaps you have reconnected with old school friends, helped return lost pets to their owners or discovered groups who share your hobbies and interests. You have also undoubtedly found an always-ready ear for your joys and complaints, and this may be just what you need after your recent car accident.

What can they use against you?

If it is your habit to turn to social media when something upsets your day, a car accident is understandably an event you may want to share with your friends and followers. However, more people are finding that their posts are damaging their chances at a fair and adequate insurance settlement or personal injury award.

It is no secret that potential employers, divorce lawyers and others use social media to learn things about you that you may not want them to know. The same is true for motor vehicle insurance adjusters and personal injury defense lawyers. These people will be scouring your pictures and posts to find evidence that you are not as injured as you claim to be. Some examples include:

  • Pictures of you walking, standing or moving when you claim to have a back or leg injury
  • Posts about participating in activities you claim you can no longer enjoy because of your injuries
  • Posts about a vacation or purchase you intend to make when you win the settlement or trial
  • Photos of you partying with friends or family when you claim to be suffering from trauma or depression due to the accident
  • Photos of your vehicle from before the accident but with damage you claim occurred in the accident

Unfortunately, your claims may be true and your suffering real. However, investigators charged with finding damaging evidence may draw on the most innocent posts. For example, one accident victim sought compensation for the isolation she felt because of her injuries. A personal injury defense team cited the many wishes of happy birthday on her Facebook wall as evidence that she was not isolated.

Advisors recommend that you avoid social media as much as possible following an accident for which you are seeking compensation. Even privacy settings are not foolproof if you accept friend requests from people you don't know. Ruthless investigators are not above requesting your friendship to gain access to your private information.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
7918 Wrenwood Boulevard, Suite A
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Phone: 225-224-0383
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