In the last two decades, the advent of the internet has changed a lot of things. Technology and the internet have made it possible for people in one area to reach out to hundreds of people across the world. The changes introduced by the internet continue to shape the way people live and interact with one another. Social media platforms allow even more people to reach out, relate, and keep themselves updated with the latest events and happenings. However, according to any experienced personal injury attorney, the use of social media can make or mar a legal action, for example, a personal injury claim.
While social media offers an avenue to share news and media, it can also become an avenue for other parties to gather information about you and your personal injury case. Being a public diary, your social media pages can be accessed when the need arises. Having information that is counterproductive to your case anywhere on social media may be the end of your legal action. To better understand how social media can affect your personal injury case, read on.
When registering on social media platforms, you are given a privacy agreement to sign. While this privacy agreement creates an illusion of protection, you should know that nothing is truly protected. As an internet user, privacy disclaimers and settings are only to protect you, to an extent, from other users. However, the information contained on your social media pages may be obtained if the other party is granted authority by a court to file a subpoena.
What this means for your case is that your recount of the accident or other posts or images uploaded online may be reviewed as part of the investigative process. Once your social media pages have been combed through, the insurance investigators begin to piece the information you have offered to your online friends together. This information, if exaggerated or inconsistent with your claim, may be used against you.
You should understand that insurance companies are businesses, and they are particular about making profits. The less an insurance company has to pay you in damages, the more they profit. They will fight tooth and nail to ensure that you do not get the amount you deserve.
A cited example is a well-known slip and fall accident case between Nucci v. Target. Nucci, in this case, filed for compensation after being involved in a slip and fall accident. As part of the investigative process, Target Corp requested and was granted court access to examine the photographs posted before and after the date of the claim. The request was granted because the information contained in the photographs was deemed more important than the privacy of the injured claimant. In essence, any information you post online before or after your accident can be used against you.
One of the biggest issues on social media is that most people are on there to impress others. Impressing others could be in the form of photos, videos, exaggerated life experiences, and more. It is important to keep the details of the accident and case between you and your lawyer in a personal injury case. However, the illusion created by the internet and social media may force an injured party to dramatize their story to make it seem more believable or to draw the attention of many more internet users. The sensationalism of the story may, in the end, rob the claimant of their chance of winning the personal injury case.
Imagine a scenario wherein a personal injury accident victim sustained mild bruising and property damage from a car accident. Should such an account be posted on social media, there is a significant chance that other users may wish to know the details of the accident. If, in the comment section, the injured party were to claim they were fine and suffered no harm, the insurance company may pick up on this and use this as a counter to your claim.
With social media, especially when you are in the middle of an insurance claim battle, you can never be too careful. However, below are some of the ways to protect yourself.
While privacy settings may not protect your social media information if a court order has been granted to investigate it, it can protect you from other users. To be on the safe side, it is recommended that you check your privacy setting to be sure that it is set properly. Doing this can help you to limit who sees your social media information.
A great piece of advice to follow is always to be mindful of what you share on the internet. As an internet user embroiled in a legal battle with an insurance company, it is best to stay off social media until your case has been finalized. The chance that you may post incriminating or sabotaging information exists, and this would be counterproductive to your personal injury claim.
There are hundreds of people looking to connect with new people across the internet. There is a decent chance that you may get innocent friend requests while your personal injury claim is ongoing. There is also a decent chance that an insurance adjuster is interested in gathering information from your social media pages. It may be wise to hold off on accepting new friend requests until your case has been finalized. However, if you must accept these requests, make sure that you have conducted thorough research on the profiles and the handlers to be safe.
Your social media comments are as powerful as the posts you make. Whether the comments are on the posts you initiated or other posts, you should keep in mind that they can be used against you and your case. It is recommended that you speak to your personal injury lawyer further on keeping yourself protected online during your personal injury claim process. For more information on personal injury claims, visit https://www.montagnalaw.com/
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