These days, it seems like social media is everywhere and everyone has an app they use to stay connected with family, friends, co-workers and others across the globe. But while social media can bring you closer to the people and activities you love, it can also pose a stumbling block in your personal injury case.
It's not unusual for insurance companies to use the contents of your social media pages and profiles against you. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself against insurers.
Limit Your Profile's Visibility
Most social media profiles are open to just about anyone on the web, including private investigators looking to comb through your timeline for information that could help insurers. In any ongoing personal injury case, it's usually a good idea to keep your social media profile out of public view. You can do this by changing your profile's visibility settings so that only family members and trusted friends can view your profile.
Watch What You Post
Anything that inadvertently downplays the seriousness of your injuries or pain and suffering can be used against you during your case. Even the most harmless photos, tweets or status updates can be interpreted in such a way that damages your personal injury claim. For instance, that one photo showing you playing with your children or dancing at a party can give insurers all the ammo they need to dismiss your injuries.
You should also encourage your friends to watch what they post on your social media pages. An innocent complement about your bravery for taking up rock climbing can have you labeled as a "risk taker" by insurers, allowing them to argue that your behavior likely contributed to your own injuries during the accident.
Skimp on the Details
Brevity isn't just the soul of wit - it's also a way to shield yourself against insurers when it comes to your personal injury claim. When making a new social media post, it helps to be light on the details. Too much information about a recent trip or activity can give insurers plenty to use against you during your case.
Steer Clear of Automatic Apps
There are plenty of social media apps that automatically "check-in" whenever you go to a particular location or event. Unfortunately, insurers can use this information to downplay the severity of your injuries, even if you were not engaged in any physical activity at that time. For instance, "checking in" at a bowling alley or a rock climbing contest can put you at risk, even if you're just a spectator enjoying the festivities.
Consider Taking an Extended Break
In some cases, your best bet is to simply walk away from your social media accounts until your case is concluded. Consider it a vacation that gives you an opportunity to connect with the real world outside of your social media apps.