The number one thing we hear when we meet a new client is “I never expected to be here.” No one ever expects to be a victim, and we pray you never are, but we live by the mantra “Pray for the best; plan for the worst.” Should the time come when our services are needed, we want to make sure you are prepared. That is why we have compiled this List of Top Must-Do’s, which we hope will educate folks and eliminate the most common mistakes we see.
This article’s Must-Do is simple, but far too often disregarded, and that is: DO NOT use social media after a wreck or other event where you or a loved one is seriously injured.
Most often, social media posts by clients are driven by the clients’ good intentions or desire to keep friends and family informed about a serious event that has just occurred. However, when dealing with insurance companies and your social media accounts, intent rarely matters. Whether you are posting images of the wreck on Instagram, updating family about the wreck on Facebook, or tweeting live updates about your condition so loved ones stay informed, insurance companies will seize the opportunity to use your social media accounts against you.
Now, to be clear, this article is not about people claiming to be injured while simultaneously posting images and videos of themselves bungee jumping. Rather, this article highlights the more common, everyday scenario where a friend reaches out to you via social media to ask, “Are you okay?” or “How are you feeling?” You then respond with the all-too-common, seemingly mild response “Yes, I will be okay. Thankful it was not worse.” While it may seem like a generic, harmless response, it is often made long before a doctor could evaluate and inform you of the full extent of your injuries.
This response is also very relative in nature and, as a result, easily misinterpreted. Sure, you may be thankful to be alive and/or not paralyzed, but often you are facing extensive treatment that may take years to complete, including surgery to repair the damage caused by the wreck. That is not insignificant. For many people, it is life altering. Despite this, insurance companies routinely use your “Yes, I will be okay” response to justify their stubborn refusal to pay you for the injuries and damages caused by the negligent person’s conduct.
It is also important to remember that because social media captures moments in time, particularly with photographs, it is susceptible to spin from the insurance companies. These companies use photos to argue that you are not as injured as you claim to be. Something as simple as a photo of you standing or sitting can be used against you, depending on the circumstances of your claim.
Bottom line: DO NOT use social media after a wreck or event where you or a loved one is seriously injured. Do not give the insurance companies another excuse to avoid their obligation and responsibility to you.