Avoid Social Media Posting During A Claim
At Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie, a personal injury law firm in Newport Beach, CA, we recently represented a client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident and sustained an injury to his back. Our client was an avid cyclist, who regularly enjoyed hiking and other outdoor activities, but he was unable to work for an extended period and had many months of medical care. Unfortunately, he did not make a full recovery from his back injury, and he claimed he was unable to participate in previous and normal outdoor activities.
This client’s case did not settle outside the courts, so our experienced attorneys filed a lawsuit against the adverse party. During litigation the defense counsel, on behalf of the insurance company, did a thorough investigation of our client.
A substantial portion of the defense counsel’s investigation, centered on our client’s social media posts on Facebook and Instagram. In some of our client’s social postings, he had photographs of himself hiking with family and friends and shooting guns. Also discovered, were several posts about mountain bike rides, and that were focused on his recent cycling trips. These posts gave the appearance that our client was not still having problems with his back and, in fact, that he was able to participate in the same outdoor activities he had participated in prior to the accident.
Our words to the wise…
If you are a claimant in an accident, you need to expect insurance companies to regularly monitor your social media accounts on various platforms, as well as those images and other social accounts where you are “tagged” by others in your networks. All it takes is one photograph to create the illusion of happiness, health, and/or physical ability. You can count on your photos to be used out of context and they can destroy your case. Even in the best of cases, photographs may not accurately reflect your actual, current physical limitations, and they can be extremely misleading and create false perceptions.
Although our client was not able to perform his activities at the same level that he did prior to his accident, his social media posts proved to be detrimental to his case. When all was said and done, he claimed he wanted to stay active, and that these activities and exercise would help his back issue, but this assertion certainly did not help his case in the end.
We encourage you to always remember…
Insurance adjustors, defense attorneys, and potential jurors, will base their perceptions, decisions, and ultimate rulings, on what they observe about the types of activities you do in your life. Staying clear of social media, when going through any type of personal injury case, is the better course of action and we’re here to help guide you along the way.
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