If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, one of the first things that the claims adjuster from the opposing insurance company is going to do is perform a social media search on you. What many accident victims aren’t aware of is the fact that a seemingly innocuous Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post can significantly devalue their own claim.
Don’t Discuss Your Injuries or Claim
Personal injury claimants ordinarily seek two types of damages. Those are economic damages like medical bills, lost earnings and out-of-pocket expenses. After that, they seek non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of an ordinary life or any permanent disfigurement or disability.
Gathering all of the evidence to support an injury victims damages is part of our job. On the other hand, part of the opposing insurance adjuster’s job is to obtain evidence that operates to devalue an injured person’s claim. That’s often done when that adjuster uses the claimant’s own words against him or her.
Prior injuries and admissions can devalue your claim by thousands of dollars. Here’s how.
The Old Volleyball Injury
Six months ago, you had some Facebook entries about needing to see a doctor about an old volleyball injury to your left shoulder, but you were afraid that a surgery would interfere with your job and family life, so you never saw a doctor. Then, you were broadsided by somebody who ran a red light.
The shoulder pain is now unbearable, and you can’t perform your waitressing job. You arrange to see an orthopedist, and diagnostics show a serious SLAP tear in your shoulder labrum. Surgery is recommended, but you’ll be in a sling for six weeks with another six weeks before you can carry a food tray again. As soon as you get the surgery done, the opposing insurance adjuster discovers your old Facebook post about a prior left shoulder injury. You diminished the value of your case before you were even in your accident.
Although there’s no medical record that you ever had your shoulder looked at by a doctor, there’s still your admission of a preexisting injury. Always be careful with what you might say about prior injuries on social media. Once you’ve opened the door to them, they’re fair game.
You’re under no obligation to help the opposing insurance company defend your case. Keep information about your past or present medical condition to yourself. Privacy laws are intended to protect you.