Key Points of This Article:
- Most people do not consider the ways a seemingly innocent social media post can hamper their personal injury claim or access to insurance benefits.
- You should refrain from posting about injuries, pain symptoms, activities, damage to your vehicle, or discussing an accident you were involved in on your social media communities.
- Insurance companies seek out the opportunity and sometimes hire a private investigator to search social media profiles for pictures, posts, conversations, and information that can likely be used against a case.
- When determining whether your injuries meet the threshold requirement under Michigan No-Fault law, the defense will not be afraid to use your social media profiles and engagements to discredit your claims.
After Being Involved in a Michigan Car Accident Do This, Not That on Social Media
If you are involved in a Michigan car accident, your role is to travel the road to a safe recovery and hope for your claim’s best outcome. But after a crash, the job of most insurance companies will be to do all they can to protect their business or client interests rather than yours, even if you were not at fault. They will go to great lengths, looking for any clues that your injuries may not exist, even if that means bending or twisting evidence in their favor. Along with attorneys, big insurance companies like Allstate and Geico are experienced in finding what is needed to win their case, and they know right where to go to gather information. That place is almost always a social media platform, and anywhere else online where your name may pop up. They work quickly and are savvy in finding ways to seek out online conversations, photos, videos, and comments from others, all to see exactly what you have been up to before, during, and after your accident.
So, while looking for community support to help get you through the healing process or the pain and suffering related to a crash, social media spaces like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and every other online platform should not be the communities you choose to share it all. Your seemingly innocent posts can pose a real danger to your auto accident injury claim and have the potential of impacting your access to Michigan No-Fault benefits.
Monitor Social Media Accounts, But Avoid Using Them
The Michigan auto accident attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. understand your post-accident situation well. We are proud to serve as a supporting resource for our clients during this time. To do our best for you and your case, we ask you to follow these recommendations on social media use after an accident.
- DO gather evidence of the crash, witness contact information and statements, and photos of your injuries while on the scene using your smartphone. Your phone is a great took in keeping this evidence safe. Contact the police to file an accident report and be honest in telling them everything you remember.
- DON’T go LIVE on Facebook, tweet or post pictures about the accident or your injuries while waiting for medical help or police to arrive. And, NEVER post the details of the accident in your social media account and public forums at any time after.
- DO take a pause from social media use for the time being and change your profile settings on all of your accounts to private so only you can see your online activity.
- DON’T post about your car accident or injuries even if you intend to be positive. For example, “I am feeling so much better. I can’t wait to get back to work!” and avoid posting selfies along with forward-thinking comments such as – “I can’t wait to go running on the Riverwalk in Detroit again.” Someone may not see your injuries in the photo and be misled by the message in your post.
- DO review all of your social networking apps, monitor and check accounts often, and delete the ones you no longer use.
- DON’T be naive to think that a friend, co-worker, or family member’s inquiring post won’t jeopardize your case. If your cousin Todd from Lansing hasn’t heard from you, he might go ahead and share gossip or rumors on your page about your accident or injuries. You will want to have those corrected but won’t’ know of his posts if you aren’t keeping a close eye on your pages. Remember, the defense can use what others may innocently say as evidence against your claim.
- DO seek a medical evaluation, listen to your doctor, and follow medical advice to ensure your best recovery. Keep good notes on your healing process.
- DON’T participate in any photo or video shoots for the health system that may show you in rehabilitation-type activities and later be posted online.
- DO review your account for images that may look harmless but may be used to question your injury or personal character. Along with your profile, it is a good idea to make these images private until you speak with an attorney. For example, a car accident lawyer may instruct you not to delete anything you have already posted. Deleting such posts could be considered the destruction of evidence.
- DON’T upload photos of you doing physical activities after or even before the accident. They could very well negatively affect your injury claim even if they are Facebook memories of an old ski trip you took to Iron Mountain or Marquette, dated well before your accident.
- DO remove people’s ability to ‘tag’ you in their posts or photos or comment on your page. Do go ahead and ask your spouse, children, significant other, and close friends and family to turn their accounts private while you are pursuing your claim.
- DON’T accept friend requests from people you do not know personally, especially if these requests roll in after the accident. It might be a private investigator working for the insurance company who wants to follow your activities and everyday moves to build a case against you.
- DO limit your search visibility. Change your internet privacy settings so that a simple search won’t show an investigator news about you that may result in claim denial.
- DON’T ever post your location or use the ‘Check-In’ feature to show others where you are. Having someone see your location may lead to the wrong assumption about your activity level and diminish your total medical and financial recovery chances.
- DO talk with an attorney as soon as you can to protect your rights.An experienced Michigan car accident lawyer will be the best person to help you carry on after a car accident and present your case in a winning light.
- DON’T engage online with others or post to your accounts if you’re wondering what you share might hurt you. The chances are, yes, what you say or show could damage your case.
Suppose you’ve been involved in a Michigan car accident and are pursuing an injury claim or Michigan No-Fault benefits to cover all medical bills related to the accident. In that case, you must understand the impact social media can have on your case and your recovery in the future. And even when the settlement has been resolved, try to avoid posting about it as it may prevent you from any future compensation you may need.
Injured in a Michigan Car, Truck, or Motorcycle Accident?
Our highest satisfaction comes from settling a case and knowing our clients can rest more comfortably when their medical care, lost wages, and other expenses are being taken care of. If you’ve been involved in an accident in Michigan, contact us today for your FREE consultation or call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE.