Facebook, Twitter, My Space and other social networking sites are becoming more and more popular not only with kids but with all age groups. You may have read about employers using these sites to help screen job applicants or to check up on their employees. There are recent cases where jury verdicts have been over turned because jurors had made updates on their social networking site during the trial. Everyone is on Facebook. Everyone is tweeting.
Guess what? These sites are not just for fun and keeping up with friends. Insurance companies and their attorneys are using these sites too. Adjusters are checking Facebook, Twitter, etc. and looking at blogs to get information about the accident victim. There may be valuable information about you on these sites that could severely damage your Kentucky auto accident case.
The insurance adjusters’ job is to pay you as little as they possibly can on your injury claim. Social media sites and blogs can help them accomplish their objective. You voluntarily put all of your personal information on these sites. You load personal photos on these sites. Friends make comments about you. You put videos on YouTube. Internet surveillance may be the only investigation the insurance company has to do.
Why are insurance companies looking at social media sites?
· To confirm or disprove the severity of your injury.
· To confirm or disprove your ability to perform activities and sports.
· To confirm or disprove your ability to work.
· To confirm or disprove whether you interact normally with friends and family.
Pictures, videos, personal information, posts and comments can wreck your case. When you become an accident victim, you begin living in a glass house. You MUST be aware of how your pictures and comments will be viewed. Sometimes even the most innocent and seemingly irrelevant things can be twisted to make it look as if you were not injured or that you are lying about being injured. Just look at what happened to Michael Phelps.
Even making the pages private may not stop the insurance company from seeing it. You may inadvertently make a friend or follower out of someone the adjuster knows. You make a friend or follower out of the law clerk of the attorney that represents the insurance company. If your case goes to Court, the Judge may order you to produce your social media page.
I know you are not going to quit using these sites, but here are some tips in dealing with your social media pages:
- Don’t post anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable having the insurance adjuster read.
- Check your privacy settings and block anyone you do not know from viewing your personal pages.
- Search your name on all sites that you are a member of and on Google to see what comes up. See what photos you have been tagged in and take the appropriate action to remove photos you are not comfortable with.
- Do not accept any friend requests or answer any e-mails from people you don’t know.
THE BOTTOM LINE…USE COMMON SENSE AND PROTECT YOURSELF AS YOU USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES. They are fun and they are addictive, but they can be used against you in many different ways.