Stay Offline – Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim
These days, social media plays a vital role in many of our lives and almost all of us are guilty of using it in some way. The Pew Research Center has asserted that roughly 70 percent of Americans these days are using at least one type of social media. This is a substantial increase in a period of just fifteen years since the center began tracking social media adoption in 2005 when only five percent of the country was using these platforms and there is no indication that numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. But while social media may allow news to spread more quickly than ever before and people all over the globe to keep in touch, it can also have adverse effects for anyone who is in the process of pursuing a personal injury claim.
A “Private” Profile Doesn’t Mean It’s Secure
First and foremost, understand that nothing is “private” once it’s posted online. While increasing your privacy settings may help to prevent the spread of information that may hurt your claim, you should still assume that all information posted online can be accessed by the insurance company and should move accordingly. As a recent cautionary tale of this, keep in mind that Forbes reported on an August 2020 incident in which a research team apparently disclosed how an unsecured database left almost 235 million Instagram, TikTok and YouTube user profiles exposed online in what was described as a massive data leak.
And unfortunately in the context of a personal injury claim, social media can:
- Invalidate your assertions about how the accident occurred
- Reveal unnecessary information about prior injuries or medical conditions
- Negate the injury level you have claimed
- Damage your credibility in a way that can’t be repaired
How Social Media Should be Handled After a Personal Injury
By far, the best thing to do while pursuing a personal injury claim is temporarily shut down your online presence altogether by taking a break from posting anything. This is the only certain way to ensure that you don’t inadvertently post something that can harm your claim. However, we are also realistic enough to know that this isn’t feasible for everyone. Some people depend on social media for their business ventures and others use the platforms as an inexpensive method to communicate with family members who live far away. If you must utilize social media, make sure you implement the following:
- Do not post anything about your accident, injuries, or recovery
- Make your social media accounts private
- Only accept friend requests from people you know personally
- Ask your friends to not post about you or tag you in photos
- Always stay offline while using drugs or alcohol
We Can Guide You Both Online and Offline
If you ever have any questions regarding social media or overall Internet presence during a personal injury case, or have other concerns, you should turn to a personal injury team you can depend on in both the digital and real world. As the Miami personal injury attorneys at Payer & Associates, we offer the help you need both online and offline as you navigate through the claims process. We have gained extensive experience assisting the victims of others’ negligence during our years of experience and you can rely on us to advocate for you while you focus on healing from your injuries. Contact us today to begin.