Insurance Companies Search Online for Reasons to Pay Less
If you are pursuing a personal injury claim after a car accident in Colorado, your social media connections might welcome updates on your case through posts, tweets, shares, and comments. You should resist the temptation to go there, though, because just one post or check-in could significantly weaken your case. Here’s why:
Insurance Companies Surf Too
After you report your accident, insurance adjusters will waste no time looking for information about it online, and they will take note of anything that could allow them to limit or deny your claim. Even if you think you’re just providing friends and relatives with details about your injuries and how you’re recovering, you’re also giving insurance companies ammunition that they might use against you.
For example, you might think a post about going dancing, taking a hike, or doing some gardening after lying around injured for weeks is totally understandable, but an insurance company could use this information to say that your injuries weren’t as bad as you claimed, you weren’t compliant with your doctor’s medical advice, or you failed to mitigate your damages.
Old posts can also be an issue. If you’re claiming that your injuries resulted in severe headaches, but you had posted about chronic migraine headaches prior to the accident, that information is probably going to harm your case. Although the two may be completely unrelated, the insurance company will likely say that your headaches were pre-existing (present before your injury), significantly reducing the amount of your claim.
Which social media platforms are they checking?
The short answer: all of them, although some platforms, such as LinkedIn, are professional in nature and users don’t usually post about their personal lives. However, others are fair game, such as:
- Facebook. With 23 billion monthly users, Facebook is the first place many insurance adjusters will go, since odds are they will find a claimant posting there. The primary purpose of Facebook is socializing, making it a liability insurance company’s go-to for hunting down nuggets that might devalue your claim. Because Facebook’s privacy settings can be confusing and complicated, many users don’t even realize that their information is public.
- Twitter. Late in 2018, Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280, although the most common tweet length is just 33 characters. But those with time on their hands and a lot to say (injured people) often fill this expanded limit with too much information about their accident, injuries, case, and recovery status.
- YouTube. Videos shared on YouTube are completely open to interpretation by those whose intent is to limit the compensation you receive for your injuries. So saying “I crashed my car!” could be misconstrued as an admission of liability, a seemingly innocuous statement such as “I’m recovering well” could result in a reduced settlement, and an angry rant about another party could demonstrate vindictiveness on your part, causing someone to question the validity of your claim.
The personal injury process was designed to help victims pursue compensation for their injuries, but it isn’t necessarily automatic or always fair. Don’t make an insurance company’s job easier by saying something online that could be used against you later.
If you sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident, contact Colorado personal injury attorney Dan Rosen to set up your free initial consultation today.