Five Simple Ways Your Social Media Account is Hurting Your Case
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Mon Sep 2016
- Social Media,
Social media. Perhaps the most familiar are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, the list is more expansive that that. There’s Snapchat, Linked In, You Tube and even more out there. One common theme. Social media allows you to share your life with your friends. Or the world. Perhaps not a good thing when you’re involved in a lawsuit.
Paul Longo can attest to this. He thought he had it all under control. When a car smacked into the rear of his vehicle, he was able to document the property damage with his cellphone. He even got pictures of the big lump that formed on his knee. Quickly, he posted them to Instagram.
It seemed to make sense to publicize the posts to a public audience. Certainly, everyone should see the damages Paul suffered. Paul also made sure to make the posts public on Facebook. One problem. Paul never went back and changed his privacy settings.
The same audience that might have expressed sympathy over Paul’s accident was exposed to something else. They saw his vacation pictures. Paul was seen surfboarding at the Jersey shore. He didn’t look like he was in pain. He also didn’t complain of it. In fact, he commented that he’d never felt better.
Can you see how social media can hurt a claim? This story is not unusual. It is unfortunately very true.
Social Media Posts During a Lawsuit
We’ve written about this before. Your social media posts are a virtual diary of your life. Although insurance adjusters and defense attorneys cannot anonymously friend you, they can make use of your public posts. Here are some things that have hurt claimants who use social media:
- Claiming that an injury is not really bad, but could be useful to make money
- Documenting a prior medical issue on social media, but failing to report it to personal counsel or the insurance company
- Stating that an injury is so severe to prevent a return to work, but highlighting photographs that demonstrate otherwise
- Working off the books on one job, while receiving disability from another
- Admitting that the injuries came from an event unrelated to the lawsuit
Think this isn’t really an issue? Or, do you feel like your privacy is being invaded? Think again. Do you really think that someone you are asking for money shouldn’t investigate you? Why chance questions concerning the validity of your claim?
Social media is everywhere. Some attorneys even use it to check prospective jurors. If you are involved in a lawsuit, you should be weary of all posts. Even personal acquaintances who have access to your accounts, can hurt you. At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we are very cognizant of the role of social media in processing claims. Contact us if you feel this is a potential issue or need legal advice.