Car Accident Lawyers serving Washington, DC
Nowadays, it seems like everyone with opposable thumbs is on social media. Whether it is your 90 year-old grandma or your two and a half year-old son, they are Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagramming, and SnapChatting, with relatives, friends and acquaintances. While the range of knowledge and abilities for these two people are highly different in the “real” world, they are present and navigating and participating in social media with everyone else. And like everyone else, they are not likely to be aware of the fact that posting on social media gives insurance companies ammunition to low ball or outright deny an auto accident claim. With everyone around us participating in social media, most people do not realize that what we do in the virtual world on social media, can affect legal outcomes in our “real” lives.
Social media has become so much a part of our daily lives, the typical person does not often think about its possible negative impacts in the case of an unfortunate situation such as being in a car accident. Car insurance companies have started monitoring people’s social media media accounts to try to avoid paying on your legitimate car accident claim. Even if your privacy settings are as tight as the security at our national mint, insurance companies have representatives locating your profiles on social media sites. They even hire people to “friend” you. They are looking at your posts and photos to see if they can find evidence of anything they can use against you in your auto accident claim. This can include posts of you with a margarita while on vacation six years ago, a friend who posts a joke on your page about recreational drugs, or if you seem to have an amorous relationship with someone other than your spouse. The insurance companies are spending lots of money in order to pay you less than what you are entitled to.
Even if you have all of your privacy settings locked as tight as can be and you do not “friend” people who you have not met in real life, the insurance corporations are seeking court orders for social media information after a lawsuit is filed. And some of these requests are being granted by courts around the country. A good rule of thumb when it comes to managing your social media life is to post with the understanding that nothing really stays “private”.
In the event that you are in a car accident, do not post anything about it on social media. Just as important, do not delete anything you think might hurt your car accident claim. Courts can view these actions as destroying evidence and it could potentially harm your case. When possible, stay off of social media after an accident until you have time to seek legal counsel to explain and protect your rights.