Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media can be a tool used by insurance adjusters and their defense attorneys to damage your personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. Many people posted photographs and comments to social media without thinking that this could be used against them later when they least expect it. Adjusters and defense attorneys often have ways of obtaining copies of your posts. Then they can use these social media posts to argue that you were not seriously hurt or that their might be so other cause to your current medical problems.
Let’s take a look at a few hypothetical fact patterns to see how this could play out when a claim is being litigated.
- If someone is hurt in an auto accident and has an open personal injury claim posts, “I was in a car wreck today. I am so thankful that I’m ok.” Many times people are banged up and sore and think they’ll be fine, but the pain worsens and then they reluctantly go to a doctor for treatment later. An adjuster with this social media post would often argue that he or she doesn’t believe you were hurt because you posted right after the accident that you were ok.
- If someone hurts their back or shoulder at work and has a workers’ compensation claim posts on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media site, “It’s sad, I’m sore from just trying to carry in my groceries today.” An adjuster or defense attorney may treat this like a separate accident that should end the workers’ comp claim all together as an intervening event.
Attorney Richard Griffin, the attorney featured in Pain Law, believes that people should always be honest and only pursue injury claims when they are actually hurt. However, people who are really hurt should also know that their social media posts may later be used against them to greatly reduce the value of your personal injury or workers’ comp claim.