Social media has become such a prominent part of life, especially in the last few years. Whether you use social media often or just once a year, it’s important to know how posting on social media after a car accident can impact your personal injury case.
When you were injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, their insurance company is legally obligated to compensate you for your damages. To name a few, these damages include the costs of medical bills, getting your vehicle repaired, and lost wages. These damages also include things that are more difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of earning capacity, and more.
So, how can posting on social media after a car accident affect your case? Well, insurance adjusters are tasked with the job of making sure they’re paying out as little as possible on personal injury cases. When your attorney gathers your bills, records any additional evidence, they’ll make a demand to the insurance company. The adjuster will make an offer that they feel fully compensates you for what you suffered through - usually with an offer that is much lower than what is fair.
The insurance company needs proof to support their insulting low offer. Their arguments can vary, and usually they’ll argue several reasons why you aren’t entitled to a higher offer. Some of their most common arguments are:
When you’re injured, it is normal to seek medical attention in order to address your injuries. Oftentimes, your doctor will tell you to follow-up with treatment with another provider, whether it be a chiropractor, physical therapy or something else.
While you might follow the doctor’s instructions exactly, the insurance company will still put up a fight in regards to how many times you attended treatment and when you were discharged. This might sound unfair - and you’re right! Injured people seek medical help from doctors because they want professional guidance on the best course of treatment in order to fully recover. And yet, the insurance adjusters will often act like they are more qualified to determine when you should have been finished with your sessions.
For this reason, it’s important to be aware of what you’re posting on social media after a car accident. If you’re still seeking medical treatment at week 8, but post about a visit to the gym, your adjuster might feel like that’s the ammunition they need to prove that you over-treated.
This is similar to the last argument. Oftentimes, insurance adjusters will claim that you were over-charged. While they might say that your treatment was necessary, they could complain about how much they have to pay per visit. This isn’t usually an issue that can be complicated with social media posts, but it’s best to leave your treatment off your social pages. For example, if you post about your visit to your chiropractor, specify how much time you were there or what they did, the adjuster might use that and argue that “X-amount” per visit was simply too much, given what you claimed they did.
This is a big issue with social media posts. It’s not fair that adjusters can use your posts against you, but they will. It makes sense for your doctor to document your pain and symptoms relative to how you report it. Your medical records will be sent to the insurance adjuster along with a demand for what you’re entitled to.
If your medical records state that you were in terrible pain and had a hard time lifting your arm, the insurance adjuster is going to try and find a way to disprove that. This includes gathering evidence from your social media forums.
As innocent as it might have been, your posts about something seemingly unrelated could be turned against you. It’s infuriating to have to justify your injuries to an insurance company, especially when you didn’t cause or ask for the accident. Don’t give them any reason to think that your symptoms weren’t as bad as you claimed.
Life happens, and it continues to happen during your recovery from an accident. It’s normal that you can’t treat multiple times a week for weeks on end, without needing to take any time off. You should be allowed to miss an appointment here or there due to an unforeseen complication. The problem is that insurance companies like to argue that any gap in treatment could suggest that you were recovered enough to end treatment altogether.
That argument alone is not powerful. However, if they insurance adjuster can back up their argument with evidence from your social media accounts, and how you resumed activities as if you weren’t still injured, their argument becomes a lot more powerful. If you have to take time off from your treatment, that’s okay. Just be careful and limit what you post on social media so the insurance adjuster won’t use it against you.
After an accident, it’s normal to want to resume your life as quickly as possible; however, you have to remember that the insurance company is going to use anything and everything to paint a picture against you.
A scenario that we run into quite frequently during the summer is one where clients are injured in an accident but have a vacation or other life event scheduled a few weeks after. Rather than cancel, they participate in the vacation, wedding, or graduation and post photos of the amazing experience. Although that pain was probably a predominant part of your trip or lift event, the insurance company is likely going to use those photos to argue that you must not have been “in that much pain,” because you were able to resume your normal activities.
Is this fair? Absolutely not! Do they still fight this way? Absolutely!
If you have a pending claim, whether it’s pre-litigation or a lawsuit has been filed, the best thing you can do for your case is limit your posting on social media after a car accident. At least when it comes to your activities, recovery, and progress. That way you’re not giving the insurance company anything to speculate.
Oftentimes, an insurance adjuster will tell you that you’re better off handling your own claim. They say that it’s in your best interest, because otherwise you’ll just end up paying an attorney the money that could have come to you. While this might sound like it makes sense, it’s not true. Statistically, you’ll receive a much higher offer with an attorney fighting for you - high enough to pay for the attorney.
When an insurance company tells you that they’ll compensate you for your damages, you might be interested in just sending the medical bills to them directly, but be weary of the arguments they will make to undercut the value of your case!
If you’re getting frustrated with the insurance company’s attempts to belittle your pain, call a personal injury attorney today. Located in Austin, Texas, we invite you to give us a call today. Most attorneys offer free consultations so you can ask as many questions as you want before signing a contract.