Social media has become a pillar of modern life. As of 2020, almost half of the global population is registered on at least one social network. Used in both personal and professional capacities, these sites provide a place to connect with people all over the world in real time.
If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably turned to your digital friends and followers for advice, support, and encouragement. And if you were recently hurt in some kind of preventable accident, you undoubtedly need such support more than ever.
Before you post about your injuries, however, consider the ramifications that doing so could have. If you intend to take legal action, for example, publishing anything about the situation could ultimately jeopardize your case.
A claims adjuster’s ultimate goal is to deny or at least devalue the cases he or she reviews so as to protect the carrier’s bottom line. These professionals have all kinds of strategies for finding cause to challenge a claimant’s credibility, and you can be sure monitoring the individual’s online presence is one of them.
In other words, if you intend to file a personal injury claim, it’s in your best interests to stay off social media altogether until your case has been resolved. If doing so is not an option for personal or professional reasons, you can at least reduce your chances of hurting your claim by taking the following steps:
1. Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Review the privacy settings on each of your accounts and adjust them as needed so only approved connections can view your posts. While the claims adjuster may still be able to access some of your statuses, photos, and videos through third-party connections, this will provide an added layer of protection.
2. Avoid Accepting Requests from Strangers
If you’re been trying to build an expansive professional network, you may have gotten into the habit of accepting virtually all friend and follower requests, even if you don’t actually recognize those who sent them. As long as your personal injury claim is pending, however, you should avoid approving any requests from strangers. While the claims adjuster may not reach out to you directly, someone from his or her office might in the hopes that you’ll grant a stranger access to your profile.
3. Avoid Posting Anything That Might Challenge Your Credibility
Before posting anything online, scrutinize the subject carefully. Does the post contain any details that might prompt the claims adjuster to challenge the severity of your injuries or the extent of their associated damages?
While it’s impossible to predict how the opposing party might interpret what you post, it’s generally advisable to avoid publishing anything about:
- The accident in which you were hurt;
- The injuries you sustained;
- The progress of your recovery;
- The direction in which you intend to take your case;
- The damages you’ve incurred;
- Your social life; or
- Your expenditures.
4. Avoid “Checking In”
Whether you “check in” at a restaurant or a public park, the claims adjuster may be able to use it against you. Sadly, going out for virtually any reason will give the opposing party cause to challenge the severity of your injuries and the impact they’re having on your quality of life.
In that same vein, ask friends and loved ones to avoid tagging you in their posts. If you want to connect with them during such a stressful time, do so over the phone, via email or in person (but without documenting the excursion).
In Addition to Changing My Social Media Habits, How Else Can I Contribute to the Strength of My Personal Injury Claim?
As long as you hire a reputable personal injury attorney to represent you, your case will be in good hands. While your legal team guides your claim through the proceedings, you can focus on recovering from your injuries and taking care of your family.
There are a few steps you should still take, however, to contribute to your lawyer’s efforts. For example, you may be instructed to:
- Start a Personal Injury Journal: Detailed entries about the ways in which your injuries are affecting your everyday life will help prove the extent of your non-economic damages. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life.
- Preserve Your Medical Records: Save all hospital logs, diagnostic images, prescriptions, and any other documentation you receive from healthcare providers over the course of your treatment. Such records will help prove the severity of your injuries.
- Track Your Monetary Losses: California allows for the recovery of medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, and other objectively verifiable damages. Before you can secure compensation for any such losses, though, you must prove that you actually incurred them. As such, you should send all associated bills, invoices, and paystubs to your legal team.
- Follow Your Doctor’s Orders: If you ignore your doctor’s orders—by returning to work before you’re actually advised to do, for example—and you end up suffering complications as a result, you could be deemed partially liable for the severity of your injuries. This, in turn, could reduce the total compensation to which you are entitled under California’s pure comparative fault rule.
Call (562) 206-1939 for a Free Consultation with a Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Waks to determine how best to proceed. Attorney Waks has been representing the injured and their families for more than 30 years and has recovered number six- and seven-figure settlements and verdicts.
When you turn to our firm for counsel, you can count on receiving personalized and attentive guidance, as well as tailored legal solutions that will help you pursue the maximum payout possible. What’s more, you’ll have a direct line of contact to attorney Waks from day one. Call (562) 206-1939 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach.