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Although the most popular platforms might change in the coming years, social media in general is here to stay. According to The Statistics Portal, nearly 2.5 billion people around the world use social networks to connect, which is almost 30 percent of the entire global population. And nearly two out of three American adults are on Facebook.
From staying in touch with old friends to making new professional contacts, you can use social media to improve virtually every aspect of your life. Regardless if you rely more on Facebook and Instagram for personal connections or Twitter and LinkedIn for professional motives, though, the many advantages cannot outweigh the drawbacks in at least a few scenarios.
Within just a few presidential elections, for example, Americans are going to witness what kind of impact growing up online has on both individuals and society as a whole. Memories that probably should have been forgotten—and thankfully were in prior generations—will exist on some kind of digital platform forever.
Of course, if you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision, you do not have to wait until a millennial runs for president to witness the kind of negative impact a digital legacy can have on someone’s life. At the end of the day, there are countless ways to jeopardize a personal injury claim by posting on social media. Fortunately, if you seek quality legal counsel from the start and only post with discretion, you can avoid hurting your own case as long as it is pending.
Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators, and you can be sure they scour every claimant’s online profiles for anything that might contradict the facts of the case. If you are not careful, social media posts could hurt your car accident claim:
1. By Bringing the Severity of Your Injuries into Question
A traditional photograph might be worth a thousand words, but if you have been using social media for any time at all, you probably already know that digital images rarely tell the whole story. Users tend to post only the most flattering shots online, which can be deceiving.
You may be taking a break from social media as long as the case is pending, but if a friend posts an image of you at brunch or sitting near a campfire, the insurance adjuster could use it against you. He or she could argue that your injuries are not that severe, and since there are likely no photos of your friends helping you every step of the way, you might have a hard time refuting that argument.
2. By Bringing the Cost of Your Damages into Question
If you have enough money to attend brunch, your financial situation cannot be that dire. This is the kind of logic the opposing party might use to negotiate for a settlement that is much smaller than what you deserve. Again, there may not be photographic evidence of close friends treating you to a nice meal, but as long as there is evidence of you enjoying the meal, you can be sure the insurance adjuster will use it against you.
3. By Bringing Your Emotional Trauma into Question
Everyone processes trauma differently. Unfortunately, the opposing party does not care that you spend most evenings at home talking with loved ones or doing physical therapy exercises. Even if you only go out once or twice a month, a few posts about each outing could be enough for the insurance adjuster to argue that you do not need compensation for emotional distress.
The scenarios mentioned above illustrate why it’s best to stay off social media while you have a pending car accident claim. It is also wise to remind friends not to post any photographs of you with them. A lot is at stake, and even a minor misstep like posting an image of something enjoyable when you are supposed to be focusing solely on recovery could affect the outcome of your case.